Lady Vols Bats Talk in Doubleheader Sweep of Ohio

Lady Vols softball / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Monday afternoon saw the bats come alive for the No. RV/23/24 Tennessee softball team as they earned a pair of wins over Ohio (0-2) in Sherri Parker Lee Stadium after outhitting the Bobcats 20-7.

UT (7-1) collected six home runs throughout the doubleheader with graduate senior Cailin Hannon (3-for-6) and sophomore Kiki Milloy (3-for-5) recording a pair of home runs a piece.

Freshman Bailey McCachren, making her third career start, and junior Samantha Bender combined for a complete game effort as the Lady Vols dominated the opening game of the day, 7-1.

The pitching duo surrendered just one run on a pair of hits while the offense was electric, recording four home runs on six hits. It marked the second time this season that the Orange and White collected four hits in an outing, which ties for seventh in program history. It is the seventeenth time in the program’s 26 seasons the feat was met.

The Lady Vols’ bats came alive in the second inning, blasting a pair of home runs to right field. Milloy opened scoring with a long shot that was followed by Hannon who went yard two batters later, which gave UT a 2-0 lead. It was the third dinger of the season for each of the outfielders.

After walking to open the third, junior Kaitlin Parsons found her way around the bases stealing second and reaching the hot corner on a wild pitch. Senior Amanda Ayala (3-for-8) recorded the third Big Orange home run of game 1 with a blast to center field to drive in Parsons and give UT a 4-0 lead.

The third inning was the Lady Vols most lucrative of the afternoon starter and continued on with a walk from sophomore Madison Webber (1-for-2) and a single from Milloy. Senior Ivy Davis (3-for-6), who had a brilliant day on defense, hit a double to center field to drive in Webber and Milloy as Tennessee closed the third inning with a 6-0 lead over the Bobcats.

Ohio responded to UT’s third-inning eruption as Katie Yun led the fourth inning off with a solo shot, however the Bobcats couldn’t get much going and left a runner on base to end the top of the fourth, cutting the UT lead to 6-1.

Bender entered the game in the top of the fifth inning with no outs and runners on first and second. Bender collected three strikeouts and escaped the jam, maintaining UT’s 6-1 lead.

Leading off the bottom of the fifth, senior Chelsea Seggern (3-for-6) blasted the fourth home run of the game, her first of the season, to give UT a lasting 7-1 lead and force Ohio to make a change on the mound with Holly Brehm.

UT defense turned in a 6-4-3 double play to end the game to earn their sixth win of the season.

McCachren picked up her third win of the year,  giving up two hits, one run and two walks. She retired four at the plate. Bender was credited with the save striking out three and giving up two walks in 3.0 innings.

Sophomore Callie Turner got the starting nod for the second matchup between UT and Ohio. The Land O’Lakes, Fla., product struck out three batters and gave up just one walk in the Lady Vols 11-2 dismantling of the Bobcats in five innings.

The UT offense was unstoppable in the second outing, collecting a season-high 14 hits and a pair of home runs.

Ohio struck first in the second game of the doubleheader as Molly Troutman hit a double down the right field line to open scoring, giving Ohio an early one-run advantage.

The Bobcat’s lead was shortlived as the Lady Vols returned to form in the bottom of the second. To lead off, Davis beat the throw from Ohio’s shortstop to get the single, which was her first hit that didn’t go for extra bases. Hannon hit a tough ball back to the pitcher to give sophomore Amanda Curran (2-for-3), who made her first collegiate start in the DP spot, runners on first and second with no outs. Davis was driven home to tie the game on a 1-1 double to center field from Curran. Kaitlin Parsons (2-for-4) singled in Hannon to jump ahead 2-1, before being put out on a oddly-ruled play by the umpires, along with Curran, during what was scored a fielder’s choice for Ayala. Ayala made her way home before the inning concluded to move UT ahead 3-1.

As critical as the second inning was, it was the fourth that became the story. Back-to-back singles from Parsons and Ayala set the table for the ensuing scoring frenzy. Seggern brought Parsons home on the ground out and Ayala advanced to third.

Junior catcher Ally Shipman (0-for-6) reached on fielder’s choice, but a confused Ohio defense allowed Ayala to score without a challenge. Webber, who recorded a two-RBI double Sunday against Miami (OH), drew a full-count walk to set things up for Milloy. The Woodinville, Wash., native clobbered a three-RBI no-doubter to centerfield to give the Lady Vos a 9-2 lead.

Hannon, who has gone yard in four of UT’s last five outings, recorded her second round-tripper of the day and the Lady Vols sixth of the half. In 2017, 2018 and 2019,  Hannon had a combined four home runs.

Curran stamped the inning with a run from Ayala’s double to provide the final margin and put UT in run-rule territory.

Up Next: The Lady Vols host Illinois State on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. ET.

-UT Athletics