Feb. 12, 2005

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Freshman hurler Megan Rhodes allowed three hits in six innings and No. 9 Tennessee utilized an RBI single from junior third baseman Kristi Durant and a three-run home run to right by leftfielder Katherine Card during a decisive sixth-inning outburst to down No. 15 Baylor, 4-0, at the Louisville Slugger/UNLV Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. With the victory, the Orange & White improved their record to 6-0 overall to establish the best opening to a campaign in school history.

"We are thrilled for Megan Rhodes," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly.

"She threw great today against a very good Baylor team. Some of the coaches here at the UNLV Desert Classic say that she reminds them of a young Kristin Schmidt. If that's the truth then she has a bright future ahead. Karen (Co-Head Coach Weekly) and I told them before the sixth-inning that we had to score right here. Cristin Vitek (Baylor's pitcher) has always been a thorn in our side and is a great downball pitcher. Ashley Cline came through for us with a big double to lead off the sixth, Lindsay Schutzler had a great single on a hit-and-run, Kristi Durant was clutch as always and Katherine Card's three-run home run was the telling blow.

Second baseman Ashley Cline led off the decisive sixth frame with a double to left field. After fellow sophomore India Chiles was brought in to pinch run for Cline, Schutzler singled up the middle on a hit-and-run to place runners at the corners with none down. Following a fielder's choice by junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete, during which Chiles was thrown out at the plate, Durant laced a clutch RBI single to left to tally UT's first run. Junior rightfielder Stacey Jennings popped out to second and was followed to the dish by Card who pounded a long three-run home run to right for a 4-0 advantage.

Sophomore hurler Monica Abbott was brought on in the seventh to close out Rhodes' victory and extend her scoreless streak to begin the 2005 season to 25 consecutive innings.

No. 9 Tennessee will now face No. 22 Nebraska in a 12:30 p.m. match up at the Louisville Slugger/UNLV Desert Classic.





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