KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The 17th-ranked Tennessee softball team took down No. 21 Georgia Friday night at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium, winning the series’ opener, 3-1.
Tennessee (34-7, 7-6 SEC) received another excellent performance in the circle from junior Ashley Rogers as she tossed her 17th complete game of the season and picked up win No. 20 on the year. The Athens, Tennessee, native surrendered just a single run on five hits, while walking none and striking out six.
At the plate, Ashley Morgan went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, a run scored and a solo home run in the second inning.
Georgia (28-13, 6-10 SEC) struck first in the game, pushing across one run in the first inning. The Bulldogs’ Savana Sikes led off with a single to left and was followed by Sydney Kuma who singled to right, which advanced Sikes to third.
A passed ball to the next batter allowed Sikes to score and give Georgia an early one-run lead with nobody out.
Rogers was able to pitch her way out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts and a pop out, limiting the damage and holding the Bulldogs to one run.
In the second, Morgan hit back for the Lady Vols as she smashed a solo homer over the right field wall. Coming into the game, Morgan had never gotten a hit off of UGA starting pitcher Mary Wilson Avant, but ended that streak with the game-tying home run.
After a quiet third and fourth innings, UT took the lead in the fifth thanks to an Ally Shipman triple and another big hit from Morgan.
With two away in the inning and Chelsea Seggern standing on first after drawing a walk, Shipman launched a ball into deep center field which sent the center fielder leaping into the air to catch. The center fielder was unable to come down with the grab as Seggern raced around the bases to score Tennessee’s second run of the game.
Shipman pulled into third on the play to set up Morgan who delivered another key hit against Avant. Morgan roped a double into left field, scoring Shipman from third and giving UT its final margin of victory at 3-1.
For UGA, Avant tossed six innings, allowing three runs on five hits. The graduate senior struck out six and walked four as she suffered the loss and drops to 15-6 on the year.
Tennessee and Georgia are slated to play game two of the series at 2 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. The game can also be seen on ESPN2.