The Lady Vols got on the scoreboard first Friday night. After leadoff hitter Aubrey Leach hit for a single and made her way to third base, Haley Bearden came up to bat. Facing two outs and two strikes, she hit the ball all the way to the actual scoreboard for her sixth homerun of the season.
The Lady Vols (21-3) were tested by the Texas Longhorns (23-6), but prevailed by a score of 9-5. The Lady Vols remain undefeated at home after the game on Friday.
“We always love to play at home,” Co-head coach Karen Weekly said, “We had a great crowd tonight.”
In the third inning, the Tennessee softball team would add to its lead. Chelsea Seggern doubled to center field and drove in Leach, her second run scored on the day. Seggern added another hit in the game and reached base on a walk.
With the bases loaded, two outs and the lead still at 3-0, Ashley Morgan came up to the plate for the Lady Vols. She would hit the ball for a double and drive in two runs.
Down 5-0, Texas would bounce back in the top of the next frame. The first two Longhorns up to the plate hit solo home runs off of starting pitcher Matty Moss.
“Your pitcher has to stay on the attack… You cannot pitch careful.” Karen Weekly said.
Moss was credited with four innings pitched on Friday. She gave up eight hits, two runs, walked two and had three strikeouts. She improves her record to 7-1 in 2019.
Ashley Rogers also appeared for the Lady Vols in the pitcher’s circle on Friday. She went for three innings, gave up four hits, three runs, one walk and struck out two from Texas’s lineup.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Gracie Osborn was the first batter up. She hit a ball past the fence for her third home run of the season and gave the Lady Vols a 6-2 lead.
Tennessee would get some more insurance in the bottom of the fifth inning. Cailin Hannon came to the plate with one runner on base when she hit a two run home run to bust the game open to an 8-2 lead for the Lady Vols. It is her third home run of the year.
“Without our offense we would not have won,” Moss said, “they let the pitchers have wiggle room (tonight).”
After the Lady Vols added another insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, Texas was down to its last three outs. Reagan Hathaway hit a solo home run to add a run to the scoreboard. After the next batter got on base, Mary Lakopo hit a homerun, cutting the Lady Vols lead to 9-5.
The Lady Vols struggled to close the Longhorns out on Friday night. Besides the late game heroics from Texas, the Lady Vols gave up two uncharacteristic errors. Entering Friday, they were second in the nation with only five errors committed all season.
The Lady Vols will be inside Sherri Parker Lee Stadium again Saturday, this time at 2:30 p.m. against BYU. They will take on the Longhorns again Sunday.