Softball vs. Virginia

#12, Caylan Arnold pitches against the University of Virginia on Monday Feb. 25, 2019 at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

The No. 7 Lady Vols ended their long stretch of shortcomings against the No. 4 Florida Gators in Gainesville.

The Tennessee (18-2, 2-0 SEC) softball team picked up its second conference win of the season in a 3-0 victory over the Gators (21-4, 0-2).

It's been 12 years for the Lady Vols’ program since they went into the Swamp and won a series against the Gators. The Lady Vols also hadn’t clinched a series against Florida since the 2014 season.

They rewrote that narrative this weekend with the second of two statement wins.

After the Lady Vols’ offensive outburst on Friday, Saturday’s victory was a bit more competitive.

Tennessee absorbed the early threat of Florida’s Amanda Lorenz reaching scoring position on a triple. Tennessee’s defense buckled down for three consecutive outs.

Not a single Gator batter would pass second base for the remainder of the game. After no hits in the first, Tennessee’s bats began to find the ball in the second frame.

Senior Haley Bearden broke the stalemate with a solo homer over the right field wall. Shortly after, freshman Gracie Osbron smashed her own solo shot to center, putting Tennessee’s cushion at two runs.

Senior Aubrey Leach led off the third frame with a solo blast to centerfield.

All of the Lady Vols’ home runs came at the expense of Florida’s Natalie Lugo, prompting a Gator pitching change. Tennessee has been no stranger to home runs this season.

In seven of its 20 games, it has smashed at least two homers. Seven of its season’s home runs came against the Gators so far this weekend. Prior to facing Tennessee, Florida’s pitching staff had only given up nine home runs.

Jenna Holcomb, Ashley Morgan, and Kaili Phillips also tallied hits, but were stranded on base.

The Lady Vols also got a strong pitching performance from freshman Ashley Rogers (6-0) in the circle.

In her first SEC action, she picked up the first conference win of her career. Rogers fanned seven batters on the day and only walked two in a complete game.

This was the Lady Vols’ latest showcase of their ability to win games with both offensive and defensive execution.

Tennessee will go for the sweep over Florida on Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The action can be seen on SEC Network. The series finale will begin at noon eastern time.

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