Tennessee’s softball team (25-5, 3-2 SEC) recorded six hits in a losing effort against Arkansas (22-8, 4-4 SEC) on Saturday. The Lady Vols had only one of their first nine batters reach base before recording their first hit.
The No. 5 Lady Vols lost 1-0 to the No. 15 Lady Razorbacks in the second of three games this weekend. The series in 2019 is now tied and the result moves the Lady Vols’ home record to 9-2.
“We kept trying to do different things to be on time (with the pitcher),” co-head coach Karen Weekly said. “We could not get enough people to do that consecutively to push runs across.”
The reason for the lack of offense from the Lady Vols was Arkansas’s pitcher, Mary Haff. She pitched a complete game shutout, allowing the six hits, no walks and 15 strikeouts. Her record improves to 12-5 for 2019.
“She pitched really well,” Weekly said. “…She had different speeds other than her change-up. We could never get on time with anything.”
The Lady Vols gave up the only run of the day on a solo home run to Katie Warrick. Her fifth home run of the season came off Tennessee’s starting pitcher Caylan Arnold.
Arnold was credited with the loss on Saturday, giving her a 7-3 record for the season. She went for three innings, gave up three hits, walked one and struck out four. She was replaced by Matty Moss in the top of the fourth after allowing two base runners.
Moss came in to strike out the next two Lady Razorback hitters before getting the third out by the defense. She was able to get out of the jam and hold Arkansas to only one run of damage.
“(Success) is knowing and studying the batter and sticking with our game plan,” Moss said. “… I went in and trusted my pitches and it worked.”
Her coach said Moss has something special about her.
“She understands what the SEC is like and she does a really good job of controlling her emotions and nerves,” Weekly said.
Moss only allowed one base runner in relief on Saturday. She was credited with four innings pitched, no hits allowed, one walk and eight strikeouts. She struck out four and sat down all of the first six hitters she faced.
“It is a combination of knowing the strike-zone that day and knowing the hitters,” Moss said. “We trust our preparation and we work hard in the bullpen.”
Six different Lady Vols recorded hits on Saturday. Aubrey Leach, Jenna Holcomb, Kaili Phillips, Haley Bearden, Ashley Morgan and Gracie Osbron all recorded singles.
Six different Lady Vols had multiple strikeouts against Haff and six runners were left on base. The game was the third time the Lady Vols have been shutout and the second time at home.
The Lady Vols will play Arkansas one more time on Sunday at noon in the rubber match for 2019. After beating the Lady Razorbacks on Friday, 6-4, the run differential is only one for the weekend.