Feb. 8, 2014
STATESBORO, Ga. --The No. 1 Lady Vols softball team defeated Northern Colorado, 8-3, in their second game in as many days at the Eagle Round Robin Tournament on Saturday behind the strong pitching of Rainey Gaffin and a big bat in sophomore Lexi Overstreet.
Tennessee (2-0) tallied two runs in the third, added one in the fourth, three in the fifth and two more in the sixth to beat Northern Colorado (0-2) for a second time. Overstreet led the Lady Vols with two hits and three RBI's including a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull Tennessee ahead for the final time. Also adding a home run was Taylor Koenig who went 2 for 4 at the plate including a double.
Gaffin, a sophomore, led the team in pitching after leaving her normal centerfield duties. She finished the game with 2 2/3 innings pitched, allowing no runs and striking out seven Northern Colorado batters along the way.
Northern Colorado got on the board first when Megan Wilkinson had solo home run in the top of the third inning off Tennessee starter, Erin Gabriel.
The Lady Vols answered back immediately. Megan Geer walked to lead off the bottom half of the inning. After a stolen base and wild pitch, Gaffin walked to put runners on first and third. Two batters later, an error by the Bears shortstop on Melissa Davin's ground ball scored Geer and tied the game. The following batter for the Lady Vols, Overstreet, ripped a single through the middle scoring Gaffin and giving Tennessee the lead.
Tennessee added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freshmen Taylor Koening reached base on a double down the right field line. Fellow freshmen Shaliyah Geathers - who was getting her first career start - doubled up the middle, scoring Koenig and extending the Lady Vols' lead to 3-1.
Nicole Hudson, the Bears' first batter of the fifth inning, walked on four pitches. After a sac bunt and a passed ball she was driven in from third by an RBI double from Wilkinson cutting the Tennessee lead to one run. Gaffin replaced Gabriel as the Tennessee pitcher before an error by Cheyanne Tarango allows another Northern Colorado run to cross the plate, tying the game at 3-3.
Overstreet responds in the bottom of the fifth inning for Tennessee after lifting a 2-1 pitch over the fence driving in Davin as well - the Lady Vols' first home run of the season. Two batters later, Koenig connected on a solo shot as well putting Tennessee up 6-3.
Tennessee added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth when Geer trotted into second base on a standup double. She made it home two wild pitches later giving UT a 7-3 lead. With two on and two outs, Tarango singled in Madison Shipman adding another run to Tennessee's tally, 8-3.
The Lady Vols will take on Georgia Southern at 4 p.m. Saturday and will feature live audio via UTsports.com and live stats through GSEagles.com