Lady Vols bounce back against Tennessee State

Eighth-ranked Tennessee (32-6) tallied a non-conference victory over the Tennessee State Tigers (3-32) Tuesday afternoon by a score of 3-0. The much-needed win came after a devastating Easter weekend series to No. 6 Georgia.

After facing the run-rule in back-to-back games against the Bulldogs for the first time ever, Tennessee regained momentum.

However, the orange-and-white got off to a slow start in the contest against a lackluster Tigers team. Tennessee State lost 15 straight games coming into the matchup at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

Recent batting struggles continued for the Lady Vols, as they only recorded three hits in the entire game. Tennessee failed to score until the bottom of the fourth inning, when junior infielder Abby Leach tagged up on a sac-fly from sophomore infielder Chelsea Seggern to give the squad a 1-0 lead.

Caylan Arnold held her own in this contest for the Volunteers and improved to 14-3 on the mound this season. After losing three of her last four games, Arnold recorded seven strikeouts in the win. She chalked up 300 punch-outs in her young career at Tennessee.

Each of the Lady Vols’ final two runs came in the fifth inning, as they scored off a throwing error and an RBI single from senior outfielder CJ McClain. However, the batting problem for Tennessee remains a mystery, as they only recorded three hits on 21 at bats against the Tigers.

Vols co-head coach Ralph Weekly made sure to reach into his bullpen to insure a win. He brought in freshman pitcher Ashley Morgan to throw 21 pitches in two innings and Matty Moss to close out the contest. Morgan and Moss combined to allow just two hits and log three strikeouts.

Despite good pitching for Tennessee, Weekly still aired his grievances about the Lady Vols’ batting issues.

“That’s what I’m going to try to figure out,” Weekly said. “I’ve been able to spark the (hitting slump) lately with the slappers coming off the bench … I personally spent three hours this morning looking at hitting”

The Weeklys need to get the Lady Vols offense in order very soon. The Lady Vols hit the road to face No. 11 Auburn this weekend. Auburn is 33-7 and only lost one game at home this season. Tennessee begins the three-game series Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Written by Caleb Souders

Edited by Seth Raborn/Lexie Little

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

No. 4 Lady Vols sweep Rainbow Wahine Classic

Fourth-ranked Tennessee (30-1) went 6-0 in its trip to the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic this weekend. The Lady Vols ended two of the six contests in early innings in the Aloha State.

The orange-and-white kicked off the Rainbow Wahine Classic with a 12-0 victory over Cleveland State (8-12) Wednesday. The Lady Vols capped the game in five innings. Tennessee wasted no time getting to business in the tournament, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Seniors Meghan Gregg and Scarlet McSwain tallied an RBI, while outfielder Jenna Holcomb scored off a throwing error.

After the hot start, the Volunteers followed up with a total of nine runs in the next two innings to end the game. Caylan Arnold kept her undefeated pitching streak for Tennessee. She bumped her record to 12-0 on the season after tossing for three innings and three strikeouts.

Next, the Lady Vols squared off against North Dakota (14-14) in back-to-back matchups on Wednesday and Thursday.

In the first contest against Fighting Hawks, Tennessee won by a score of 5-0 after notching a 12-0 win over the Vikings earlier in the day. Junior infielder Aubrey Leach led the Vols with three hits on the afternoon, as sophomore Chelsea Seggern recorded two RBIs in the win.

Tennessee turned up the heat once again in the second game on Thursday, as they capped the game off with a grand slam from junior catcher Abby Lockman in the top of the sixth inning to mark a 14-2 win in the column. Gregg hit yet another impressive outing with three RBIs in the game.

Friday, Tennessee went on to face the host team in the fourth game of the weekend, as they battled Hawaii (14-12). Freshman pitcher Gabby Sprang recorded her fourth win for the Lady Vols on the mound this season after allowing just two hits in four innings.

Leach launched a solo shot to deep right-center to get the Tennessee on the board in the bottom of the first, and the Vols never looked back. Tennessee downed the Warriors 10-5 after scoring five runs in the sixth inning to seal the game. Seggern, Leach and outfielder Brooke Vines meshed for four RBIs in the win.

In the final games of the series, Tennessee faced the Maryland Terrapins (7-19).

The Lady Vols scored all seven of their runs in the final three innings of the game to top the Terrapins 7-1 on Friday. Arnold pitched brilliantly with six strikeouts in seven innings to keep her winning streak alive. McSwain and Lockman tallied four RBIs in the fifth inning to pull away from Maryland.

The game progressed smoothly for Tennessee on Saturday finishing with six runs in the seventh inning to win 10-0. Vols ace pitcher Matty Moss (13-1) and Arnold combined for 11 strikeouts in the series-ending win. Vines drove Holcomb with a single to center field to notch the final run of the day for Tennessee.

Tennessee will get back in action on Friday against South Carolina in Columbia for a three-game series.

Edited by Seth Raborn/Lexie Little

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics