In their last game of an SEC series against Mississippi State, the Lady Vols swept the Bulldogs with a final score of 9-2 on Sunday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
“This is huge,” Jenna Holcomb said. “It really puts us in a good place going into Georgia next weekend with momentum on our side. Just kind of having that cushion will be really good for next week.”
In the top of the first, Mississippi State was able to put runners on first and second, but the Tennessee defense, led by Matty Moss, secured the third out after Ashley Morgan caught the batted ball.
Aubrey Leach started things off for the Lady Vols after a walk to first and advanced to second shortly after when Kaitlin Parsons also drew a walk. Runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch, but unfortunately for Tennessee, the Bulldogs produced three quick outs, sending them into the second inning.
Mississippi State struck first after Kayla Boseman delivered a home run. The Bulldogs continued to dominate in the top of the second after loading the bases and sending a runner home on a fly ball towards left field, making it 2-0.
In the bottom of the second, Morgan got things rolling for Tennessee with a walk and Jenna Holcomb’s single towards center advanced Morgan to second. The Lady Vols still weren’t able to put any runs on the board after a 4-3 groundout ended the frame.
Ashley Rogers stepped up the circle in the top of the third where she, along with rest of the Lady Vols’ defense, gave up no runs to the Bulldogs.
Parsons drew a free pass and Chelsea Seggern worked the count for a walk to put runners on first and second in the bottom of the third. Morgan loaded the bases and Kaili Phillips walked to bring Parsons home, cutting the lead in half.
“Kaitlin Parsons was the difference this weekend,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “She was fast, she got on base, she runs the speed game, she’s a really good slapper, and on this infield she can hit the ball up into the air and make things happen. She just did a great job, and now we have to find a place to play her on defense.”
Tennessee took control in the bottom of the fourth when the Lady Vols took the lead using one hit, four errors, and two walks, making it 5-2. Leach, Jenna Holcomb, Parsons, and Treasuary Poindexter all went home before the inning ended with Cailin Hannon left on third.
The Lady Vols maintained control through the bottom of the fifth, when three runs, two hits and two errors brought three more Lady Vols home. Parsons, Leach and Holcomb all scored before the frame ended with a score of 8-2.
With Rogers still on the mound, Tennessee held the Bulldogs scoreless in the top of the sixth.
Philips began the bottom of the sixth with a walk before she scored on Leach’s hit. Chelsea Seggern was hit by a pitch, advancing Parsons and Holcomb and loading the bases. Bearden's fly ball towards right was caught, ending the frame with all runners still on base.
The Bulldogs weren’t able to score in the top of the seventh, ending the game with a runner on first and a final score of 9-2.