Tennessee sweeps home-opening doubleheader

Tennessee leaned on its most experience arm en route to two wins to open the Tennessee Invitational.

Photo by Brad Blackwelder.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee infielder #55 Meghan Gregg is greeted by teammates at home plate after hitting a grand slam in the Vols' win over Southeastern Louisiana at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on March 2, 2017.

Tennessee (15-2) leaned on the reliable arm of Matty Moss and bat of Meghan Gregg to take doubleheader games from Southeastern Louisiana (8-9) and Ohio (9-2) in the team’s home openers at the Tennessee Invitational.

Moss, Gregg lead Tennessee to 8-0 win in home opener

After allowing three hits in the first six batters she faced, Tennessee sophomore Matty Moss settled in and allowed just one hit the rest of the way in a 5.2 inning, four-hit pitching performance that held Southeastern Louisiana at bay en route to an 8-0 (6) win.

Moss (8-0) threw almost four consecutive no-hit innings after allowing a single to start off the second inning. Kelsey Morrison relieved her and struck out the only batter that Moss didn’t face on the afternoon.

Tennessee’s offense was slow to get going, but consistent once the hits started. Scarlet McSwain was hit by a pitch with one out in the second inning before stealing second. An errant throw from Southeastern Louisiana’s catcher on the steal attempt allowed McSwain to take third, setting up a prime RBI opportunity for Chelsea Seggern.

Seggern delivered, doubling to left center off of the glove of Lion center fielder Maddie Edmonston’s glove to drive in the Vols’ first run. Seggern was one of three Vol players with multiple hits, going 2 for 3 with that lone RBI. Tennessee got another run in the third inning on a Taylor Rowland RBI single before Meghan Gregg put things out of reach in the fourth.

After two quick outs to begin the inning, the Vols loaded the bases after Aubrey Leach doubled, Jenna Holcomb bunted for a single and Brooke Vines walked to bring up Gregg. She drove the second pitch of the at bat well over the left-center wall to plate all four runs and extend Tennessee’s lead to 6-0. The grand slam extended her team-leading RBI total to 27.

Cailin Hannon singled in the Vols’ seventh run in the fifth inning, then pinch hitter Katie Weimer drew a walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth to clinch the run-rule victory.

Tennessee jumps ahead early, hangs on for 2-1 win over Ohio

Tennessee scored two first-inning runs and leaned on the relief performance of Matty Moss (9-0) to win a pitching duel and sweep the home-opening doubleheader, 2-1.

Like game one, the Vols struck first to put pressure on the visitors.

Leadoff hitter Aubrey Leach walked on four pitches to open the Vols’ first inning at the plate, then took second on a wild pitch. Brooke Vines followed with an infield single before both runners moved up 60 feet on another wild pitch. Tennessee slugger Meghan Gregg followed with a two-run double — Tennessee’s only runs of the game. Gregg went 1-for-2 to cap a 4-for-5, six-RBI doubleheader performance.

“(Gregg’s) just a hitting machine,” Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly said after the games. “She’s good as of a hitter as I’ve seen”

Pitching dominated the rest of the game.

After giving up Gregg’s double, Ohio pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey (4-1) settled in. Dorsey didn’t allow another hit until Leach’s infield single to open the fifth inning. The Vols recorded just one more hit, a single to third from freshman Jenna Holcomb in the sixth inning.

Freshman and Maryville native Caylan Arnold started in the hill, but only pitched 3.1 innings after running into some trouble. Ohio scored its only run in the third inning with three-straight singles, the last scoring a run to cut Tennessee’s run in half. Arnold got a groundout to end the inning, but couldn’t escape the fourth.

Tennessee pulled Arnold in favor for Moss after Arnold gave up a one-out walk and a double, putting runners on second and third. Moss got a groundout and a strikeout to end the threat. From then on, Moss picked up from where she left off in game one. She allowed just two baserunners — a single and a walk — over the game’s final 3.2 innings.

“She was hitting her spots,” Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly said after the games. “She just gutted it out.”

Edited by Robert Hughes

Featured image by Brad Blackwelder

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Nathan is a junior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He spends most of his free time eating meaningless foods and watching sports. If you wish to contact Nathan, you can email him at wodom3@vols.utk.edu or find him on Twitter, @NathanOdom11.