After a long, rainy weekend, the No.7 Lady Vols left the Tennessee Classic with 5-0 tournament record.
Tennessee played a doubleheader against Virginia and Louisville on the last day of the tournament, defeating Virginia, 6-2, and Louisville, 5-3.
In the first inning against Virginia, the Lady Vols brought the heat. After Tennessee loaded the bases on a walk, Ashley Morgan brought both Aubrey Leach and Amanda Ayala home. Shortly after, Haley Bearden flew out to shortstop and pushed the Lady Vols forward to make the score 3-1.
The second inning was dominated by Tennessee after Leach, Ayala and Seggern loaded the bases before Ally Shipman drove home Ayala and Seggern.
After Caylan Arnold had a successful fourth inning on the mound, Shipman’s double advanced Tianna Batts to third. Soon after, Batts scored on a wild pitch, bringing the score to 6-1.
Matty Moss entered the circle in the fifth and produced three strikeouts with ease. Leach then stepped up with a single towards third base before advancing to second.
In their last frame, the Lady Vols gave Virginia one last run on a pop-up to Moss, leaving the final score 6-2.
In the first inning against Louisville, Ashley Rogers started at the mound.
In the top of the third, Louisville put up a fight after a single and stolen second put Tennessee on the hot seat. Rogers then responded by catching a pop-up and sealing the third out.
“We rely on each other,” Rogers said. “It’s not so much a competition, we are one. We are each other's biggest supporters. I think just having them and knowing that they have my back and I have theirs, it makes our jobs easier.”
In the bottom of the third, Jenna Holcomb got things rolling with a single toward center field and soon advanced to second on Leach’s single. Ayala then hit a double towards center, bringing both Holcomb and Leach home, resulting in Tennessee’s first two runs of the night.
After stealing third, Ayala then ran home on Morgan’s single, bringing the score to 3-0 heading into the fourth.
Louisville managed to put two runners on base in the fourth before the Lady Vols responded with two straight outs.
In the bottom of the fifth, Ayala’s hit towards center resulted in a single before Seggern’s hit to left field brought her to second. Morgan loaded the bases on a walk before Shipman’s double brought Ayala and Seggern home, making the score 5-0.
Immediately after Arnold took over for Rogers in the fifth, Louisville hit a homer to center bringing three runners home, resulting in a new score of 5-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, Osbron walked to first after wearing a pitch. She was replaced by pinch runner Treasuary Poindexter. Tennessee couldn’t manage to send Poindexter home and left the sixth only two runs ahead of Louisville.
“It’s never over till it’s over,” head coach Ralph Weekly said. “You can be cruising along in this game with a no hitter and all of a sudden ‘boom’ you’re in trouble. I think playing together and using some new systems that we’re using in the outfield and infield were good lessons that we learned.”
Louisville loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, but Rogers delivered the strikeouts that led Tennessee to victory.
“That ending was very good for us,” Ralph Weekly said. “If you had ended eight to nothing, you wouldn’t have learned a lot from it. I just told them whatever happened we’re going to learn, and we did. We know we’ve got to work a little bit better on closing games as a pitching staff.”
The Lady Vols will play next on Thursday, Feb. 28, in the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, California. Tennessee will face off against UTSA, Fresno State, New Mexico, Michigan and Oregon throughout the weekend.