The No. 5 Lady Vols’ (29-8, 7-5 SEC) offense was silent most of Sunday against No. 13 Auburn (32-8, 8-4 SEC). The bats came alive in the fifth and sixth inning of the second game for a combined six runs to push the Tennessee softball team to their first win of the weekend.
The Lady Vols lost the first game, 3-0, and won the second, 8-1, against Auburn on Sunday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. After losing on Saturday, the Lady Vols were trying to get in the win column before the weekend was over.
“We just were not generating offense earlier,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “…They are really good but we did not play to our potential. In this league you cannot have an off night.”
Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s games:
No offense in game one
The Lady Vols only had four hits in the first game against Auburn. Aubrey Leach started the game with a single, but was a part of a double play in the next at-bat. Kaitlin Parsons also recorded a hit and drew a walk. It was the only walk in the game for Tennessee.
Kaili Phillips collected the other two hits for the Lady Vols. She had a single and recorded a double in the seventh inning. Her two-out double and rally attempt was unsuccessful against Auburn as a strikeout ended in the game in the next at-bat.
“In these long days of softball, you have to bring it every inning,” Ralph Weekly said.
Dominant pitching in game two
Ashley Rogers was sent out to the mound on Sunday night on a mission to win. She pitched for seven innings, gave up one run, five hits, one walk and threw six strikeouts.
The performance gives her a 10-2 record for 2019. It was her seventh complete game of the season. She lowered her ERA to 1.82 on Sunday.
“I was being confident in myself and attacking the zone and not trying to throw around the hitters,” Rogers said.
Bats come alive
There was a stretch this weekend where the Lady Vols did not score for 12 innings. That quickly changed once the second game started on Sunday. After a lineup change, Tennessee was able to get two runs across home plate in the first inning.
Holding a 2-1 lead for the third and fourth inning, the Lady Vols had two runners on in the bottom of the fifth. Phillips came to the plate again and hit a two RBI single.
Later in the inning, Amanda Ayala would hit a single and advance Phillips home. The runners would be left on base after.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tennessee had two more runners on base. This time, Ashley Morgan knocked the ball over the fence for a three-run home run. It was her third of the season.
The Lady Vols were outscored 14-13 this weekend in a competitive conference matchup.
Next weekend, the Lady Vols will be back inside of Sherri Parker Lee Stadium as they take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs. After Sunday, the Lady Vols home record is now 11-4.