The No. 16 Lady Vols clinched their second SEC series win last weekend over South Carolina. Tennessee dropped Saturday night’s game 3-2, and went on to win Sunday and Monday, 11-0 and 4-2, respectively.
The Lady Vols had strong performances across the board, here’s how they graded out.
In game one of the series, the infield did not come out to play. The infield as a whole was 2-for-15 from the plate, with the only infielders getting on hits being Chelsea Seggern and Ivy Davis. The latter, like many times this season, had a big late game homer that tied the game, but it wasn’t enough to give the team a win Saturday.
Luckily for the infielders, game one didn’t define the rest of the series for them. In game two, the infield looked like an entirely different squad, going 8-for-18 at the plate.
Catcher Ally Shipman made her return after being out in game one and immediately had an impact. Shipman went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs.
While the infield didn’t have the big hitting game they had in game two, they were able to get some runs in Monday’s low scoring contest.
The infield went 3-for-13, but the hits they did get were crucial to the win. Seggern drove in two runs on her one hit of the game, which proved to be crucial as the Lady Vols took the game by two runs.
Overall, the infield didn’t have the explosive hitting that they have had before, but they were able to get the job done and were perhaps, the most important aspect in Monday’s game.
Like the infield, the outfield this weekend was somewhat inconsistent. The outfield was still without Amanda Ayala this weekend, and her presence was definitely missed. Not much went well for the outfield this weekend, but they did manage to get some crucial plays.
The outfield went a lackluster 2-for-10 in game one of the series, with the only hits coming from two of the team’s more consistent players, Kiki Milloy and Cailin Hannon.
Besides their play at the plate, the outfield did a solid job on Saturday of mitigating any damage from the Gamecocks’ offense by getting balls into the infield before hitters got the opportunity to turn an extra base.
The outfield hit the ball better in game two, going 4-for-11 at the plate. Milloy remained consistent for the Lady Vols, going 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI.
Hannon was perhaps the MVP for the Lady Vols on Sunday, going 2-for-5 at the plate with four RBIs. Hannon got things going early in the second inning and got an RBI to put the game in run-rule territory in the sixth.
Hannon followed her strong hitting performance with great vision at the plate. Hannon got walked on both of her at bats on Monday, and ended up scoring on both. Hannon’s performance was crucial for the Lady Vols win.
Milloy also played a big role, going 1-for-3, and getting an RBI that was vital for the Lady Vols.
It was the Milloy and Hannon show all weekend, with the rest of the outfield not really showing up. Tennessee’s outfield is a big part of their success. Once Ayala is back in the rotation, they will be back to where they were in earlier series.
Designated players KK McCrary and Kaitlin Parsons were shaky in this contest. McCrary got to the plate three times and was unable to get a hit on any of them.
Parsons came in as the designated player for Sunday and Monday’s games and got the job done. Parsons got one hit but was walked three times on Sunday. Parsons was also responsible for three runs on Sunday. She didn’t get anything going on Monday, but her performance Sunday was big.
Tennessee didn’t look to its bench often this weekend, but the players that did come off the bench were pretty inconsistent.
The Lady Vols pitchers came to play this weekend. Tennessee’s ace, Ashley Rogers, is in her stride and didn’t slow down this weekend. Callie Turner returned from injury and didn’t miss a beat.
Rogers opened up the series on Saturday. Although the team lost, Rogers was solid in the circle, racking up seven strikeouts.
Turner was on the mount on Sunday to give Rogers a break. Turner didn’t strike out any batters, but she did hold South Carolina to just one hit on her way to a shutout victory.
Rogers returned to the mound to finish off the series on Monday, and she came out firing on all cylinders. Although she allowed six hits, Rogers also racked up ten strikeouts to continue what has been a career year for her.
South Carolina’s two runs on Monday came from fielding errors, so if there is an area to blame, it isn’t Rogers.
The Lady Vols were solid in their second SEC series win of the year. Tennessee contrasted low scoring games on Saturday and Monday with a big 11-0 win on Sunday. The team has areas to improve, but constant batting, solid fielding and strong pitching have been themes for the Lady Vols this season.