Led by the powerful bat of senior catcher Lexi Overstreet, No. 12 Tennessee knocked off Furman, 9-0, to remain perfect at home.
The Vols (34-11, 12-6 SEC) hit three home runs, tying their season high and advancing their home record to 18-0, the best in the NCAA. Of the 18 games played at home, Tennessee has won 10 of them in five innings.
Both teams were scoreless after two innings. Senior pitcher Erin Gabriel retired the first five batters she faced before giving up a single to Emma Ogburn. Gabriel halted the Paladins’ momentum with a strikeout to end the second inning.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Vols loaded the bases with one out, but Aubrey Leach lines out to second and Brook Vines grounded out to first, leaving three runners stranded and no runs on the board.
However, Tennessee’s bats came to life in the bottom of the third inning. Overtsreet knocked a two-run blast to right field. The Vols added five more runs in the inning thanks to Rainey Gaffin’s sac fly, Aubrey Leach’s two-run double and Brooke Vines’ two-run home run.
Gabriel (16-4) struck out seven batters over four scoreless innings before being replaced by Gaffin in the top of the fifth.
While Gabriel’s day on the mound early, Overstreet continues to give Furman’s pitchers fits, knocking her second home run of the game in the bottom of the fourth to put Tennessee up 8-0. As a result of her first-career multi-home run performance, Overstreet now has a team-leading 11 home runs on the season, her first double-digit home run season of her career.
The Vols put their unblemished home record on the line this weekend when they host No. 9 Oklahoma during the Tennessee Classic. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET this Saturday.
Featured image by Craig Bisacre, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics
Edited by David Bradford