The Lady Vols fell short in Saturday’s contest against Missouri, 7-4.
The loss comes after a 4-0 win on Friday, and now with an even series, the teams will battle it out for the series win on Sunday.
The Lady Vols used three pitchers on the day, Callie Turner, Samantha Bender and Bailey McCachren. The three pitchers recorded just one strikeout between the three of them and allowed eight hits.
“They fought,” Co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “We had some pitching problems with our young pitchers, and they were giving us everything they could. But unfortunately, we were going against the top hitting team in the SEC.”
Despite struggling in the pitching category, the Lady Vols had some high points offensively.
Kiki Milloy had a solid day hitting the ball, going an impressive 3-for-4 at the plate, with two runs and a pair of RBIs. Amanda Ayala also had a strong hitting day on Senior Day, going 3-for-4 and driving in one run.
Tennessee had a chance to even the game late, with two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, but Chelsea Seggern came up just short, after several balls that barely went into foul territory.
“We got down 7-0 and came back and made it four, and actually had the tying run at the plate so I was proud of them,” Weekly said. “Tomorrow our goal is to take the series.”
Saturday’s game was senior day for Tennessee’s six seniors, and Weekly will remember them for more than just their work on the field.
“We had to battle our way back because of shortages with COVID, but we were excelling on the field,” Weekly said. “More important than anything else, they excelled in the classroom. The last time we got the figures they were the top sports team [academically].
“They’re good young ladies and they represent well on the ball field.”
As it stands right now, the Lady Vols are a half game behind Missouri in the SEC standings, so tomorrow’s game means more than just another series win.
“This is a must win game for us,” Weekly said. “It’s going to deal with seeding, it’s going to deal with hosting, it’s going to deal with everything else. We kind of got behind the eight ball when we went down to Mississippi State midweek and lost a double header. That put us in a hole.
“We need to win tomorrow. Mizzou is one game ahead of us and they need to win tomorrow too. There’s going to be a lot at stake tomorrow.”
After the loss today, Seggern hopes to spark a fire underneath the team.
“We can still win this series,” Seggern said. “One game doesn’t define the weekend. We just have to come back with more intensity and focus tomorrow and be ready to win this series.”
The Lady Vols regular season and series final against Missouri will be at 1 p.m. ET tomorrow afternoon at Sherri Parker Lee stadium. The game will be broadcasted on SEC Network+.