The No. 9 Tennessee softball team (32-8, 10-5 SEC) faced Mississippi State (25-17, 3-12 SEC) on Sunday in the weekend finale.
The Bulldogs raced out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but the Lady Vols would eventually take the lead on Sunday in the bottom of the fourth inning. By the time it was over, the lead was 5-2. After tacking on a few more runs and entering a rain delay, the Lady Vols beat Mississippi State by a score of 9-2. It is the Lady Vols’ fourth straight win at home.
“Any time you get a sweep it counts in the league,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said.
Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s game:
The Lady Vols outscored the Bulldogs 23-4 this weekend. Tennessee recorded 24 walks this weekend and just 16 hits. Mississippi State recorded 16 hits this weekend, including 10 on Sunday.
“(We) just try to keep it simple,” Jenna Holcomb said. “Get on base any way (we) can, whether by walk, bunt or slap hit.”
Three Tennessee pitchers saw action this weekend, with each starting a game. Ashley Rogers was the standout from the staff, recording 12 innings pitched, including five on Sunday.
She is now 15-2 after giving up seven hits, no runs, nine strikeouts and no walks during the entire weekend.
Mistakes made on Sunday
The Mississippi State softball team committed seven errors on Sunday. The mistakes resulted in starting pitcher Emily Williams only giving up three earned runs to the nine total runs.
“The third game in an SEC series is usually sloppy,” Ralph Weekly said. “Both teams did some good things and both teams struggled with some things.”
Tennessee left 13 runners on base in the matchup. Mississippi State left 10 on the base paths. There was potential for fireworks from both teams, but in the end it was Tennessee’s speed game that was the deciding factor.
Six different Lady Vols combined to tally a total of 12 walks on Sunday. Kaitlin Parsons led the team with three while Aubrey Leach, Chelsea Seggern, Ashley Morgan and Kaili Phillips all had two. Cailin Hannon was credited with one walk. Leach, Parsons and Hannon had a stolen base.
Only three Lady Vols recorded hits in the matchup. Leach scored twice, Parsons scored three times and each player had a hit. Jenna Holcomb was the offensive standout, compiling three hits and two runs on Sunday.
“I love our speed game,” Holcomb said. “We just run havoc and run the bases on them.”
The Tennessee softball team found itself down 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. From there, the team would have an offensive flurry that pushed them to a win and the weekend series sweep.
Thirteen runners left on base cannot be a theme if the Lady Vols want to experience success against the University of Georgia this weekend, which will be a rematch from the Super Regional last year.
The Tennessee softball team will travel to East Tennessee State University for a matchup on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.