Tennessee ended the weekend of play Sunday with a double header against Miami (OH).
The Lady Vols won the first of the two games, thanks to a strong showing in the sixth inning.
The game started slow, as both teams remained scoreless through two innings. The Lady Vols got things going in the third inning, as Amanda Ayala hit an RBI double to bring Cailin Hannon home. The Redhawks answered back in the fourth, with a three-run home run.
The Lady Vols were able to keep Miami (OH) from scoring in the fifth, before beginning a high scoring sixth inning.
Things got going for Tennessee in the sixth with a sacrifice fly out from Ally Shipman that brought Ayala home. Shortly after, K.K. McCrary hit a single to drive in Kiki Milloy.
The scoring didn’t end there for the Lady Vols, as Madison Webber hit a double to center field to bring in Ivy Davis and Milloy. Hannon ended the scoring for Tennessee with a two-run home run.
The Lady Vols were able to hold the Redhawks off for one more inning and ended the game 7-3.
In the second and final game of the day, Miami (OH) once again got on the board first, after an RBI single.
Things looked hopeful in the sixth for the Lady Vols after the Redhawks’ catcher dropped Shipman’s tipped foul ball with a runner on first and second. Shipman then hit a deep bomb, but the Redhawks were able to retrieve the pop fly and retire the side.
Miami (OH) hit a home run in the seventh to open up the inning and add to its lead, but the Lady Vols were able to stop any more damage and keep the lead manageable.
Davis hit a double in the seventh to keep the hopes alive for the Lady Vols, but the team couldn’t capitalize and dropped the second game, 2-0.
The Lady Vols utilized their young pitchers in the first game, with sophomore Callie Turner pitching three innings, and Bailey McCachren pitching four. Co-head coach Karen Weekly has already found ways that her pitchers are impacting the game.
“I think they’re both going to be really good,” Weekly said. “I said to Bailey McCachren in between games ‘you’re learning something quicky that a lot of pitchers never learn in their whole career and that is how to rebound fast from giving up a home run.’”
“I think that’s honestly the thing she’s done that’s been so impressive. She’s given up some long balls, but she bounces back right away and she’s got a real short term memory and that’s huge when you’re a pitcher.”
One theme that the Lady Vols have seen early this season is inconsistency. High scoring wins in one game, and little to no scoring in the second. Weekly believes her team has developing to do in this area.
“You’ve got to have your go-to players,” Weekly said. “You’re going to have close games, you’re going to have tough games, you’re going to face really good pitching and you’ve got to have players that are going to show up for you every day.
“That’s what we need to develop on this team. I feel like we have a good deep team, but we still need to identify who are those kids that are going to lead the way and show the way when the going gets tough.”
The Lady Vols will continue play Monday afternoon, as they face Ohio in a double header at home. The first game will be played at 2 p.m. ET with the second following at 4:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be played at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.