Feb. 4, 2005
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The 13th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol softball team opened its 2005 campaign with a convincing 4-0 victory over the Central Florida Golden Knights. Sophomore hurler Monica Abbott picked up the win with seven innings of shutout ball while allowing just two hits and striking out 13. Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored while sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline stroked a two-RBI double to left center in the decisive sixth inning as UT took command of the contest.
"We are really happy with our team's performance against Central Florida," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. "We have many young players, so it was good to get several their first collegiate experience. UCF is a good team, so it's always good to get wins against a quality opponent."
The Orange & White wasted no time in manufacturing a run in the bottom half of the first inning as Schutzler led off the game with a single to shortstop and promptly stole second to move herself into scoring position. After being wild pitched over to third, Schutzler tallied the contest's initial run as right fielder Stacey Jennings hit into a fielder's choice.
The pitcher's duel remained 1-0 into the fifth before Schutzler keyed another Lady Vol scoring outburst. Following a single to first base, Schutzler promptly stole second and junior Sarah Fekete sacrificed her to third with just one down. A Jennings walk placed runners at the corners and applied pressure on the Central Florida battery that forced an error as a steal attempt by the Aurora, Colo., native of second proved successful with the catcher's throw sailing into center field to score Schutzler and give UT a 2-0 advantage.
After Central Florida was shut down three-up and three-down in the top of the sixth, Tennessee erupted for a pair of runs in the bottom half on the strength of a walk by Natalie Brock, a stolen base by pinch-runner India Chiles, an error by UCF's shortstop on pinch-hitter Katherine Card's grounder to shortstop and Cline's two-run double to left center.
Abbott allowed a single hit in the top of the seventh but stopped any hint of a rally by forcing a groundout and striking out the final two Golden Knights. With her 13 strikeouts, she stands just two K's short of Stephanie Humphrey's Tennessee career record of 596 heading into the afternoon matchup with DePaul.