Softball Media Day

The Lady Vols softball team hosted a media day during their practice on Feb. 8, 2022 at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. 

Fresh off a win over No. 4 Arkansas over the weekend, the No. 14 Tennessee softball team will look to build off the momentum in its three-game road series against No. 6 Florida on Friday.

The Lady Vols (20-8, 3-2 SEC) have seen relative success against SEC opponents early in the season, but have been battling injuries throughout their roster. The week between games has given UT valuable time to regroup and prepare for yet another nationally-ranked opponent.

“This is going to be an important week for us,” head coach Karen Weekly said. “We haven't had a week where we weren't hitting the road early in the week or playing a mid-week game. We really need some rest and recovery physically and mentally. This week has finally given us the chance to rest and get a little bit healthier before we head down to Gainesville.”

The Lady Vols are led by the dual-threat of Amanda Ayala and Kiki Milloy offensively. The leadoff and secondary batters have been dominant at the plate touting Tennessee’s two best batting averages of .359 and a .348 respectively. Milloy also leads the team in home runs with 10 on the season.

Further complimenting Tennessee’s powerful offense in sophomore Zaida Puni. The Carson, California, native shined in Sunday’s matchup against Arkansas being responsible for all six runs in their 6-2 victory. Puni has proven to be a vital part of the Big Orange’s bats.

Looking at the Lady Vols pitching rotation, the absence of Tennessee’s Ace Ashley Rogers is apparent. In her absence, the bullpen has been heavily relying on Erin Edmoundson for the bulk of the work in the circle.

Edmoundson made appearances in all three games against the Razorback notching 13 strikeouts. In those games, she showcased one of her strongest abilities — her off-speed pitch. Her ability to mix it in with her pitching arsenal in the circle resulted in batters being unable to make contact with the ball.

“It's been on and off,” Edmoundson said. “I think it’s all confidence if it's on or not. I think that's really the determining factor whether I use my off-speed pitch in a game.”

The Gators (26-3, 4-2) come into the matchup eager to extend their two-game win streak. Most recently, Florida shut out Stetson 7-0 on Tuesday. The Gators’ second game of the series was canceled due to inclement weather.

The Gators have a variety of young and up-and-coming players that are able to produce at the plate and could cause trouble for the Lady Vols. Freshman Falby Kendra leads the team with 41 hits and holds an impressive .456 AVG.

Florida also possesses a talented ace in fellow freshman Lexie Delbrey. The right-handed pitcher has been near unstoppable with 77 strikeouts on the season and currently holds a 1.72 ERA.

The Lady Vols’ last matchup against the Gators was back in 2019 when Florida narrowly defeated Tennessee, 2-1. Looking back on the history of the series, Florida holds a 53-29 lead over Tennessee.

The Lady Vols will be tested in their three-game series over the weekend. The first pitch is set for Friday at 6 PM EST.

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