After a long Saturday, Tennessee showed up to Sherri Lee Parker Stadium ready to play in the finale of the Tennessee Invitational on Sunday. They took down Stanford 5-0 just after falling to the Cardinal 7-2 on Friday. The Lady Vols advanced to a record of 14-8, while Stanford fell to 22-4.
“I felt like we were definitely in that game Friday,” said co-head coach Karen Weekly. “I think our girls were pretty fired up to come out today and show that we were a different team than we were Friday.”
Tennessee was led by a dominant performance in the circle by freshman Callie Turner. She hurled the first complete game shutout of her young career, holding Stanford to only four hits. Turner struck out four Cardinal batters, needing only 82 pitches to complete the game.
“It was absolutely huge. She needed that,” Karen Weekly said. “[Turner] has done so much for us at this point in the season. So much that she didn’t expect to have to do and we didn’t expect her to have to do.”
Offensively, the Lady Vols were led by sophomore Ally Shipman and senior Cailin Hannon. Shipman tallied a career high four hits in only four at-bats, including a solo home run. She was on fire at the plate all weekend, going 12-16 with six RBIs Hannon finished the day 2-4 with three RBIs.
The Tennessee defense had one of its best showings of the weekend, committing only one error. This was due to both the weak contact that Turner was allowing and some serious flashes of leather from the defense.
“It’s just about kids just wanting to make plays,” Karen Weekly said. “They ran down balls and they weren’t going to be denied.”
As their coach pointed out, the Lady Vols made spectacular plays all day, including a catch by Hannon as she collided into the center field wall.
“It’s always and adrenaline rush when you make a catch like that,” Hannon said. “Those are the kinds of catches outfielders dream about and live for. When I saw it go up, I was really excited to make a play for it.”
Tennessee will now look forward to one more game at home this week against North Carolina before it heads to College Station to take on Texas A&M to open SEC play. While conference play is always intense, coach Karen Weekly believes that the level of competition that the Lady Vols have been seeing has them ready.
“I think playing Stanford and North Carolina – those are SEC quality opponents,” Karen Weekly said “So, I think finishing the weekend with a team just like the teams we’re going to see in the SEC and feeling good about our performance is going to help us a lot.”
Tennessee will get a much-deserved day off on Monday, and will be back in action at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday night when it hosts North Carolina.