Lady Vols take road series in Alabama

The No. 7 Lady Vols softball team (40-8, 10-7 SEC) completed a sweep over Alabama this weekend after winning by a combined score of 14-3 in the two-game series. Tennessee’s 13-3 victory on Saturday gave the Vols their first ever sweep on the road against the Crimson Tide. The orange-and-white clinched seven straight wins following their last loss April 8.

“Whenever you sweep a doubleheader in Tuscaloosa you’re doing a good job,” Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “I’m proud of the girls and I’m proud of the way there fought.”

In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Tennessee star shortstop Meghan Gregg recorded the only run in the game. Gregg’s RBI double in the third inning drove in junior infielder Aubrey Leach to give the Vols the 1-0 win. The Volunteers’ ace, Matty Moss, shut down No. 17 Alabama with six strikeouts in her seven innings.

Leach reached first base on a walk and proceeded to steal second base, setting up Gregg to drive in the game winning run. The two teams combined for just three hits in the entire game, as the Crimson Tide had a solid outing from the mound as well.

Alabama pitcher Alexis Osorio dealt for a full seven innings and earned 14 total punchouts in the loss. Osorio still took a loss despite her dominant performance on the bump. She allowed just two hits.

Right fielder Scarlet McSwain earned the only other hit for Tennessee, as Chelsea Seggern walked twice.

Saturday’s series finale manifested as an action-packed outing for Tennessee. The Lady Vols poured on 13 runs to finish off the Crimson Tide. Caylan Arnold led Tennessee on the mound, as she registered six strikeouts in a full game to propel the orange-and-white to a 13-3 victory.

The Tide did not roll in the second game, as the pitching duo of Madison Preston and Courtney Gettins combined to give up eight earned runs and 12 hits in the loss.

Gregg one again led the Volunteers with a 2-of-3 night at the plate and two RBIs in the game. Junior infielder Chelsea Seggern also boosted Tennessee with four RBIs on 2-of-4 hitting on the night. Seggern blasted a three-run homerun in the seventh inning to top off the Lady Vols’ already convincing lead.

Tennessee tallied seven unanswered runs starting in the fourth inning to put away the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa for the first time ever. The Lady Vols face Alabama once again on Monday. Another win over the Tide would mark the first ever three-game sweep over Alabama for Tennessee.

First pitch for Monday’s contest in Tuscaloosa is slated for 7 p.m. ET and will be shown on the SEC Network.

Written by Seth Raborn

Edited by Lexie Little

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

Lady Vols stay hot, beat ETSU 11-3

No. 7 ranked Tennessee (38-8, 8-7 SEC) picked up a huge non-conference win over ETSU Tuesday night in Knoxville. The Lady Vols’ 11-3 win marks their fifth straight and improves their home record to 14-2 on the season. Tennessee needed just six innings to put away the Buccaneers, as hot bats propelled the Vols to a win.

The Lady Vols kicked off scoring early in the second inning. Junior catcher Abby Lockman belted a solo homerun to left field. Tennessee put on more steam with a pair of singles from junior Aubrey Leach and freshman Amanda Ayala. The Lady Vols went up 4-0.

Another single from sophomore infielder Chelsea Seggern and two more unearned runs crossed the plate to give the Vols a 7-0 lead after just two innings of play. Not much time passed before Tennessee reached the scoreboard again. Leach hit an RBI-triple and then scored on an error to give the Lady Vols a 9-0 lead in the third inning.

The ladies from ETSU finally showed some life in the middle innings, as they scored three unearned runs in the fourth and fifth innings to cut the Tennessee lead down to six runs.

However, the clutch Lady Vols ended any hopes of the Bucs coming back in the sixth inning. Freshman Ashley Morgan ripped a double to score Seggern. Sophomore Cailin Hannon rounded out the scoring for Tennessee on the day as she reached on a fielding error to score Morgan.

Overall, the two teams combined for five errors and eight unearned runs in the sloppy midweek game. The Lady Vols bullpen also had a nice day, as senior Caylan Arnold came away with the win. Arnold, Matty Moss and Gabby Sprang combined to give up just three hits and recorded four strikeouts in the win.

Arnold improved to 18-4 on the season as eight different Tennessee players registered a hit against ETSU.

“It’s always good to get an in-state win,” Volunteers co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “The problem with those kinds of games is you get up early and you don’t play as well… We try to get everybody in the game when we have a lead like that.”

The next three weekend series for Tennessee prove extremely important with the SEC Tournament coming up in just over three weeks. The Lady Vols look to improve their weak conference record against Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi State in the coming weeks.

Up next, Tennessee will hit the road to face off against the Crimson Tide starting Saturday. First pitch will come at 5:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.

Written by Seth Raborn 

Edited by Lexie Little

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

Lady Vols lose to Auburn, drop third straight series

The Lady Vols’ (33-7) struggles continued, as they lost their weekend series with No. 11 Auburn on the road by a combined score of 9-2. Tennessee scored two runs in its first contest with the Tigers on Friday but went scoreless in the final two games of the series. The No. 8 ranked Vols now have an abysmal 5-7 record in SEC play this season.

Play seemed to be going Tennessee’s way to start the series on Friday. The Lady Vols put away Auburn by a score of 2-1 in eight innings. Sophomore Chelsea Seggern ripped an RBI single that finished as the game-winner for the Lady Vols in the top of the eighth inning.

The contest remained scoreless until Tennessee broke the silence in the sixth inning as senior shortstop Meghan Gregg drove in a runner off a ground out. Vols pitcher Matty Moss gave up a solo homerun from the Tigers in the seventh inning. She struck out three straight batters to get Tennessee out of the jam and send it to extra innings.

“It was a great game between two teams that are fighting for positioning in the SEC,” Vols co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “Our kids played really hard in tough conditions and a hostile arena.”

The next matchup did not prove glamorous for Tennessee, as the Lady Vols fell victim to their own poor hitting. The Volunteers fell 2-0 and notched just one hit in the game. Moss didn’t get much help from her offense, as her two runs given up in the fourth inning defeated Tennessee.

Makayla Martin dominated for Auburn with six strikeouts and one hit given up in the complete-game. The Tigers’ only two runs came from a two-run homerun from the bat of Casey McCrackin.

The troubles in the batter’s box continued for the Lady Vols in the final game. Auburn once again held Tennessee scoreless. The Lady Vols only tabbed three hits in a 6-0 loss to Auburn. The duo of Moss and Caylan Arnold could not get the job done on the mound for the Vols, as they gave up a combined five earned runs on just four strikeouts.

A huge five-run fifth inning from the Tigers propelled them to their 37th win of the season. Auburn got sacrifice-fly to start in the scoring in the inning, as Alyssa Rivera drove a three-run homerun out of the park to finish their scoring for the evening.

Tennessee gets back to business on Tuesday with a road test in Columbia, Tennessee against in-state rival Memphis. The Lady Vols look to end their troublesome batting issues against a Tigers team that lost to East Carolina on Sunday.

Written by Seth Raborn

Edited by Lexie Little

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

Lady Vols fall to Georgia in weekend series

After South Carolina swept them last weekend, the eighth-ranked Lady Vols (31-5) dropped yet another weekend series to No. 6 Georgia. Tennessee now sits at a dismal 4-5 in conference play to start the season. The Bulldogs outscored Tennessee by a combined score of 17-2 in the three-game series in Knoxville.

“Softball is a game of momentum and a game of one-on-one matchups, and right now we’re not winning those,” Lady Vols co-head coach Karen Weekly said. “We just can’t get that clutch hit when we need it or get that clutch pitch when we need to shut them down.”

The orange-and-white kicked off the weekend series on a high note Saturday, shutting out the Lady Bulldogs by a score of 1-0. While hitting fell short for Tennessee, pitching shined. The dominant veteran pitching duo of Caylan Arnold and Matty Moss combined for eight strikeouts in seven innings for the win.

The only run of the game came in the seventh inning. Senior infielder Meghan Gregg showed patience at the plate and drew a walk with the bases loaded to give the Lady Vols a 1-0 lead.

Georgia walked three straight batters with no outs to give up the winning run. Gregg also passed former USA Softball National Player of the Year candidate Tonya Callahan for the most RBI’s in school history with 242.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that at all (the record) but getting our first series win over Georgia was big,” Gregg said after the game. “I think we kept pounding and finally broke it up in the seventh inning.”

Sunday proved sour for the Lady Vols, as they lost by a score of 9-1 in six innings. The script flipped for Arnold on the mound, as she gave up eight runs in just four innings of play. Freshman pitcher Gabby Sprang finished out with no earned runs and four strikeouts, but the Lady Vols couldn’t get their bats going to keep the game competitive.

Tennessee’s only run of the game came in the second inning off an RBI single from junior infielder Aubrey Leach. Georgia registered three batters with at least two hits in the win. The Vols notched just five hits total.

“We got beat in every aspect. Offense, defense, pitching,” Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “I don’t think it was from a lack of effort, I think it was a lack of execution.”

The final series game ended with a tough loss for the Vols Monday. They lost 8-0 to log their first shutout loss of the season. The last time Tennessee faced a shutout came nearly one year ago against Florida. Pitching issues remained a problem for the Vols. Moss gave up an uncharacteristic seven earned runs in six innings of work.

Tennessee tallied just four hits on the afternoon and combined for just 11 hits through the series. Georgia scored at least one run in every inning but the fifth to dominate the Lady Vols Monday.

“I think we’re fighting and probably stressing because we’re not winning those battles,” K. Weekly said. “That’s probably some of the best ball they’ve (Georgia) played all year, too.”

Tennessee gets back in action on Tuesday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium against its in-state rival Tennessee State. First pitch its slated for 6 p.m. ET and can be viewed on SEC Network+.

Written by Seth Raborn

Edited by Lexie Little

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

South Carolina sweeps No. 2 Lady Vols

Tennessee went into its weekend series with No. 15 South Carolina on a 22-game win streak. However, after falling in the first game Friday, the Lady Vols never fully recovered from their lost momentum. The Gamecocks swept the series. The last time Tennessee faced a sweep, the Vols dropped a 2016 series against first-ranked Florida.

In the first game between the Volunteers and South Carolina, Tennessee fell by a score of 8-7 to drop its second game of the season. After jumping out to a 7-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning, the Lady Vols quickly gave away their lead by allowing five unanswered runs over the final three innings.

A homerun by outfielder Tiara Duffy sparked the Gamecocks’ run, as they cut the Tennessee lead to 7-5. Infielders Mackenzie Boesel and Jana Johns both homered to right and center field respectively over the next two innings to tie the game up. The final score came from Kenzi Maguire off a wild pitch, giving South Carolina an 8-7 victory and snapping the Lady Vols’ winning streak.

Tennessee dropped its second game to the Gamecocks Saturday by a score of 4-5.
After going down by two runs early on, the Vols stormed back in the third inning and scored four unanswered runs to take a 4-2 lead in the top of the third inning. The Lady Vols couldn’t keep the lead, as they allowed three unanswered runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Sophomore Caylan Arnold received her first loss of the season on the mound for Tennessee and dropped to 13-1 on the year. Arnold and junior Matty Moss gave up five earned runs and six hits in Saturday’s loss.

The Volunteers started out hot on Sunday, jumping out to a 5-2 lead, but the Gamecocks came out with a vengeance in the bottom of the third inning.

South Carolina left fielder Kennedy Clark doubled to right field to bring in two runs. The Gamecocks backpacked off Clark and finished with eight runs in the inning. South Carolina took a 10-5 lead. Arnold received her second loss of the season for Tennessee.

Freshman Gabby Sprang pitched two innings for the orange-and-white and allowed just two runs in three innings. Moss gave up six runs in 1.2 innings and allowed five hits from the Gamecocks.

The Lady Vols will be back in action on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET to kick off a home series against Georgia.

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