Feb. 5, 2005
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- On Saturday afternoon at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater, Fla., the No. 13 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team utilized 5.2 solid innings from starting pitcher Stacey Jennings, a 3-3 performance by junior center fielder Sarah Fekete, rookie left fielder Kortney Bell's first career home run (two-run HR), freshman Natalie Brock and Tonya Callahan's first career hits and RBI and a two-run first-inning single from sophomore catcher Brittany Bessho to down Gardner-Webb 8-0 in six innings and improve its record to 3-0 on the season. UT tallied a pair of runs in each of the first, third, fifth and sixth innings to run-rule the Bulldogs.
"Stacey Jennings pitched really well for us today," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. "Her performance was especially great considering she wasn't feeling well at gametime and was forced to gut her way through six strong innings. Several highlights stand out as Kortney Bell hit her first career home run and Natalie Brock and Tonya Callahan both picked up their first collegiate hits and RBI.
After winning 10 games in the circle for UT during the 2004 campaign, Jennings, an Aurora, Colo., native made it one-for-one in victories in 2005 by striking out eight while walking just two GW batters to pick up her first triumph of the young season.
Gardner-Webb threatened immediately to begin the contest as a fielding error by the Lady Vols placed a Bulldog runner on third base with two down in the top of the first. Jennings promptly forced a routine groundout to second by GW right fielder Jessi Williams to end the threat.
Tennessee got on the board in the bottom half of the first frame as sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler slapped a leadoff single to left field. After the Monterey, Calif., native stole second, junior center fielder Sarah Fekete bunted for a hit and moved Schutzler to third with none away. A pair of Orange & White strikeouts threatened to neutralize the scoring opportunity, but sophomore catcher Brittany Bessho stepped to the plate and ripped a hard single to center to plate both Schutzler and Fekete for a 2-0 Lady Vol advantage.
Both offenses were quiet until the bottom half of the third inning as Tennessee again hit paydirt offensively. Following a hard single by junior third baseman Kristi Durant, freshman left fielder Kortney Bell strode to the dish and cranked a two-run bomb deep over the center field fence to stake the Lady Vols to a 4-0 lead.
Jennings continued to control the Gardner-Webb offensive attack through five frames by allowing just two hits and three baserunners. In the bottom half of the fifth, Fekete and Durant drew consecutive walks to start another Orange & White scoring threat. Rookie Kenora Posey was brought in as a pinch-runner for Durant and promptly scored on a single by Bessho as UT went up 5-0. Another freshman, Natalie Brock, picked up her first career hit and RBI by plating Bell (reached base by a walk) from second on a hard lazer driven up the middle as Tennessee took a 6-0 lead.
Up by six runs heading to the bottom half of the sixth frame, the Lady Vols
required just two more scores to end the contest by run-rule. Consecutive
singles from Fekete and Durant ignited yet another scoring attack and relief
pitcher Monica Abbott did her job at the plate by singling in Fekete from
third for a 7-0 advantage. UT would tack on its eighth and final run as
another freshman registered the initial base knock of her career as first
baseman Tonya Callahan singled to third to end the game and improve Tennessee
to 3-0 overall.