Tennessee (19-2) handled Campbell (13-9) with ease in Megan Geer’s return to the diamond, cruising to a 10-1 run-rule victory.
The bats got hot early for Tennessee. Geer and Brook Vines both recorded RBI doubles in the first inning to establish a 2-0 lead. The Vols followed with an explosive second inning, scoring six runs thanks in large part to Meghan Gregg’s grand slam.
Freshman pitcher Caylan Arnold tied her career-high in strikeouts with nine and never allowed Campbell to get in rhythm, allowing only two hits through five innings. Sophomore Mary Beth Brumit replaced Arnold to start the fourth inning for Tennessee, but her relief effort was short lived. Arnold retook the mound after Brumit loaded the bases and committed an error on the next play that put Campbell on the board.
The Vols tacked on a couple more runs in the fourth inning to stretch the lead 10-1. The defense sealed the deal in the fifth as Tennessee earned its 11th run-rule victory of the season.
The coaching staff wanted to get Brumit some time on the mound after establishing an 8-0 lead, but were nonetheless impressed with Arnold’s ability to come back with the bases loaded.
“That was big,” co-head coach Karen Weekly said. “… that’s the key for Caylan is to stay mentally strong.”
Weekly attributed the game’s hot start to Geer’s return backed by dominant pitching.
“It’s great to have Megan back,” Weekly said. “She is a very important part of this lineup, both offensively and defensively.”
Geer had missed the previous five games due to injury and was excited to get back on the field.
“It was great,” Geer said. “I have yet to miss a game in my entire career until this weekend, so it was hard for me to sit on the bench. I made sure I came in with good energy to help bring them up.”
Campbell senior pitcher Katie Baker was rocked for six earned runs over 1.1 innings. She was never able to establish her pitching only going one and one third inning. First baseman Melissa Tullar accounted for Campbell’s lone run.
The Vols begin conference play this Friday when they take on South Carolina during a three-game home series. The first game is slated for 6 p.m. ET on Friday.
Edited by David Bradford
Featured image by John Golliher, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics