The No. 8 Tennessee softball team (34-10, 11-7 SEC) found itself in a similar situation that ended its season last year in the NCAA Super Regional. Like last year, the Lady Vols and No. 22 Georgia (33-15), 7-11 SEC) had the third game decide the series in Athens, Ga.
The Lady Vols fell, 8-0, to the Bulldogs on Sunday. Georgia held a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning before a bases-loaded walk. Later in the inning, Georgia’s Alysen Febrey hit a grand slam that would end the game in walk-off fashion.
“It was a tough game, obviously, when you lose like that,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “Credit goes to Georgia.”
Tennessee’s lineup struggled to get on the base paths, as the team only recorded four hits and one walk. Kaitlin Parsons had two hits for the Lady Vols and both were singles. Kaitie Weimer and Jenna Holcomb each had a hit, and Holcomb recorded a stolen base.
The Lady Vols starting pitcher, Caylan Arnold, was credited with the loss. Her record is now 8-5 this season, and on Sunday she pitched four innings, gave up six hits, three runs, two walks and had one strikeout.
“I thought our kids played hard,” Ralph Weekly said. “I didn’t think any of them dogged it at all during the day. They just outplayed us today.”
The Lady Vols’ Matty Moss also pitched on Sunday. She went for 1.2 innings, gave up four hits, five runs, walked two batters and had two strikeouts.
Georgia’s Kylie Bass earned the win to give her an 8-3 record in 2019. She was credited with the complete game and struck out seven Lady Vols.
Georgia’s offense broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the second with two outs in the frame. With runners on the corners, Jordan Doggett hit a double and drove both runners to home plate.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Bulldogs had a runner on first. Febrey came up to the plate and hit for her own RBI double, driving in the first of five runs on Sunday. Her grand slam was the first of her career.
The Lady Vols were outscored 20-9 this weekend. Sunday marks the first time the Lady Vols have been shutout since a 3-0 result in the second game of the Auburn series earlier in April.
Tennessee’s road record now stands at 9-4 for the 2019 season. All four losses have come against SEC opponents. This was the first series loss on the road for the team. The Lady Vols dropped games against Missouri and Florida earlier this season.
Tennessee will return to Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on Wednesday to play Tennessee State. First pitch is at 4:00 p.m., and the teams will play a doubleheader.
“When you get beat like that, the worst thing you can do is offer excuses,” Ralph Weekly said. “…I don’t expect this team to fold.”