The Tennessee softball team found itself down a run heading into the bottom of the first inning on a rainy Saturday afternoon. From there, the Lady Vols would take the lead and not relinquish it.
The Tennessee softball team (31-8, 9-5 SEC) beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs (25-16, 3-11 SEC) by a score of 10-2. The game ended on a Gracie Osbron RBI single in the fifth inning.
“It is great to know I have a great team to back me up, offensively and defensively,” starting pitcher Caylan Arnold said.
Arnold was credited with the win, making her record 8-4 in 2019. She pitched all five innings, gave up three hits, one earned run, two walks and recorded four strikeouts. Her ERA now stands at 2.28 for the season.
“She still has some things to work on,” Co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “But she looked better… She is a great pitcher.”
Mia Davidson was the standout for Mississippi State’s offense. She recorded both the runs and hit her 21st home run of the season. She raises her batting average to .445 for 2019.
Arnold had help from her defense on Saturday, as the Lady Vols recorded two double plays against the Bulldogs. The separate plays both killed the Bulldogs’ rally attempts.
“It is hard with a wet ball to turn double plays and I thought (we) did a really good job,” Ralph Weekly said. “It was textbook.”
Offensively, six different Lady Vols recorded a hit. The team also drew seven walks, Aubrey Leach and Kaili Phillips led the team with two walks and two runs scored apiece.
In the first inning, the Lady Vols quickly had two outs recorded against them. After Leach and Chelsea Seggern recorded walks, Haley Bearden entered the batter’s box.
She grounded the ball all the way to the fence and both runs scored on a double. Bearden also recorded a stolen base in the game.
“For an athletic, tall girl she can run, but we have known that all along,” Ralph Weekly said.
After a couple runs scored in the second inning, the lead was 4-2 heading into the third inning. Runners were at the corners for Amanda Ayala and she hit the ball to left field for a sacrifice fly and Leach scored her second run.
Later in the inning, the bases were loaded for pinch-hitter Madison Pacini. She hit the ball in the gap and it rolled past the right fielder. She cleared the bases and reached third on the play.
After two more runs by the Lady Vols in the bottom of the fifth inning, the game ended. The Lady Vols faced three Mississippi State pitchers and scored at least one run off all of them.
The Lady Vols have scored 22 runs and given up three runs in their last three games.
With the series already won, the Lady Vols will look for a sweep against Mississippi State on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.