The Tennessee softball team used a strong pitching performance to take the second game of a doubleheader against Missouri.
The No. 5/6 Lady Vols (27-6, 5-3 SEC) split the first two games of a conference series with Missouri (17-13, 6-5 SEC), setting up a series-clinching game on Monday.
“Missouri is a very good team,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “They had won five of their last six against Kentucky and Georgia before beating us in that first game.”
Missouri struck first in the first frame of the first game, jumping out to a 3-0 lead at the expense of freshman pitcher Ashley Rogers. Matty Moss would step in for relief duties for the next two innings.
Tennessee would finally tally a run in the top of the fifth inning.
Junior Cailin Hannon came home after an RBI single to center from California native Jenna Holcomb. Missouri would counter with a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the period, widening the score to 5-1.
The Lady Vols put together one last run in the top of the sixth inning.
Ashley Morgan scored off of a single from Gracie Osbron. An Aubrey Leach single would bring in two more runs for Tennessee, but they came up just one run short, resulting in a 5-4 loss.
Rogers took the loss in the circle, putting her at 10-2 for the year. She redeemed herself in the second game, only allowing one hit in a series-tying win for the Lady Vols.
That one hit didn’t come until the fourth inning on a solo home run from Missouri.
After being shut out for five innings, Tennessee found some clutch offense to ultimately edge the Tigers.
“It was that kind of game,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “It was almost like a baseball game. It was one, nothing for the longest time.”
In the sixth frame, a Hannon double brought home Kaitlin Parsons.
Chelsea Seggern came through in the seventh inning with a timely double to bag the game-winning run.
Ashley Rogers allowed one run and cancelled out four batters in a complete 7.0 inning effort to improve her record to 11-2.
“The big thing about that game is that Ashley Rogers is fantastic as a freshman,” Ralph Weekly said. “She’s really responding in her freshman year. We’re just so proud of her.”
The Lady Vols will battle Missouri in a rubber match on Monday night in Columbia, Missouri. The first pitch is set to be thrown at 7 p.m. EST.