Softball vs Kansas

Tennessee softball Co-head Coach Ralph Weekly during game against Kansas on Feb. 22, 2019 at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

Tennessee freshman Kaili Phillips came to the plate with two outs and two runners on-base in the bottom of the first inning against Virginia.

She knocked the ball over the fence for a three-run home run and gave her team a 5-0 lead. The Lady Vols (11-2) would go on to beat the University of Virginia 11-1 and would add an 8-0 win against Bradley University in the latter game on Sunday.

Matty Moss got credit for the win against Virginia after a run-rule win, improving her record to 3-1 in 2019. She went five innings while giving up two hits, one home run and recording six strikeouts.

“Matty plays with great energy and enthusiasm,” co-head coach Karen Weekly said. “It is infectious to our team.”

The senior pitcher said she feels different on the mound this season.

“I feel stronger, healthier and have more control (this year),” Moss said.

Seven Lady Vols combined to record eight hits in the first game and recorded 10 base-on-balls. Phillips led the team with four RBIs while recording a walk in her other at-bat. Ashley Morgan had two hits, two runs and two RBIs against Virginia.

Kaitlin Parsons and Aubrey Leach recorded two runs each. Parsons was walked twice and recorded a single. Against Virginia, the Lady Vols would record only walks and singles, as the team was not credited with an extra base hit.

The Tennessee lineup got to Virginia starting pitcher Erika Osherow early and often in the first game. She only pitched three innings while giving up seven hits, eight earned runs and one strikeout. 

Against Bradley, Caylan Arnold would lead the team from the pitcher’s circle. She pitched six innings after a run-rule, giving up only one hit and two walks. She recorded five strikeouts in the second game.

“Caylan Arnold was as good as she has been all year,” Karen Weekly said. “We had a game plan and she executed it as perfectly as any pitcher I have ever seen.”

The Lady Vols’ lineup opened up the scoring in the second inning, scoring two runs. In the third inning, Ashley Morgan hit a home run, driving in two other Lady Vols. It was her first home run of the 2019 season, as she led her team in RBIs with three against Bradley.

“We talk a lot about an attacking mentality,” Weekly said. “We want to put runs on the board early.”

Leach and Amanda Ayala each recorded a walk in the second game. The team would have nine hits against Bradley. Morgan and Haley Bearden were the only Lady Vols with multiple hits in the second game. Ally Shipman and Leach both had a double.

Bradley starter Emma Jackson did not last long against the Lady Vols. She pitched 2.1 innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits and only recorded one strikeout.

The Lady Vols would commit their first error of the season on Sunday. After playing their first 11 games error free, the Tennessee defense is starting to standout.

“We work really hard on defense in practice,” Moss said.

The Lady Vols will be back in action Monday when they take on Virginia at 2:00 and Louisville at 4:30 p.m. The Lady Vols will be playing in the last two games of the Tennessee Classic.

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