Ashley Rogers and the Lady Vols (9-2) shutout the Kansas Lady Jayhawks (2-9) by a score of 9-0 in the first game of the Tennessee Classic Friday. The Lady Vols opened up a 6-0 lead before a weather delay in the top of the fourth inning. The Lady Vols would win 9-0 after five innings.
Strong Pitching Performance
Freshman Ashely Rodgers was on the mound trying to build on her 3-0 record entering Friday. After the first Kansas batter knocked the ball in play, Rogers would record the putout. She would go on to give the second and third Kansas batters a strikeout in the first inning.
“I was focused on going right at the hitters,” Rogers said.
She would make quick work of the second inning and have two strikeouts in the third. She gave up a walk in the fourth inning before the weather delay. She retired the first nine batters she faced against the Lady Jayhawks.
She finished with the win (4-0), five innings pitched, one hit allowed, one walk, zero runs and six strikeouts.
“She is a good pitcher,” Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said, “… she has a lot of good stuff, (she) has four or five good pitches.”
The Lady Vols provided most of their offense before the weather delay. The team gave Kansas starter Brynn Minor a tough matchup, she only had one strikeout after 2.1 innings pitched. She gave up six runs, six hits, three walks, and a homerun to the Lady Vols.
The Lady Vols had offensive production from most of the lineup Friday. Senior Haley Bearden would draw a walk and hit the lone homerun for the Lady Vols, driving in Amanda Ayala.
Ayala recorded a hit, a RBI, a walk and two runs scored on Friday. Chelsea Seggern recorded two RBIs and two runs. Gracie Osborn contributed to the offense too, driving in two runs on a single. Ashley Morgan had a pair of hits and RBIs against Kansas.
Senior leadoff hitter Aubrey Leach reached base three times against Kansas. She recorded a single, a double and a walk. She was a menace on the base path and would go on to record two runs and advance on a wild pitch while a baserunner.
“In my 19 years I have been here, she is the best leadoff hitter we have had,” Weekly said.
Wet Field Conditions
The rain was out in full force from the first pitch to the end of the game Friday. The base paths were being worked on by the grounds crew between each half-inning. As the tarp rolled out, the Lady Vols would head to their dugout with a 6-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning.
The weather did not affect Ashley Rogers on the mound. From the moment she stepped onto the field, she had control over the Lady Jayhawks’ lineup. Rogers would allow only two baserunners on the night.
“It is hard to play in the rain,” Rogers said. “But we practice in weather worse than this.”
The Lady Vols would not commit an error in the game on Friday. The clean fielding was instrumental in the shutout effort. With a mistake-free defense behind her, Rogers was able to pitch freely on her way to the win.
The Lady Vols will be back in action Saturday at 12 p.m. against Virginia University. They will look to make a winning streak out of the game against Kansas. They still have Bradley and Louisville on the slate for the Tennessee Classic
“This is a good team,” Weekly said, “I really like this team.”