Feb. 18, 2005
STATESBORO, Ga. - Aggressive base running that produced a Lady Vol single-game record seven steals, freshman Megan Rhodes' first career no-hitter (5 IP, 0 H, 8 K) and season-highs in both runs (nine) and hits (14) added up to an impressive 9-0 rout of the Charleston Southern Buccaneers in five innings at the Georgia Southern Invitational in Statesboro, Ga. No. 7 Tennessee's record improved to 10-0 overall while CSU remained winless at 0-7.
"Our kids developed a true `Orange Crush' mentality in this game," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. "They brought an aggressive mindset from the start and really played hard with every pitch. Megan Rhodes was very good again tonight. Karen (Co-Head Coach Weekly) and I are extremely proud that she threw her first collegiate no-hitter.
The Lady Vols wasted no time getting on the board against the Buccaneers by plating a run in the top of the first inning off CSU hurler Amanda Noble. Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler got the hit parade going with a triple over the outstretched glove of Buc leftfielder Candace Rowell and promptly scored on a fielder's choice by junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete for a 1-0 lead. That's when UT's aggressive base-running mentality took hold as Fekete swiped both second and third and sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline stole second following her base knock to short. Unfortunately for the Lady Vols, the pair was stranded following a strikeout and a groundout.
For the afternoon, Charleston Southern never advanced a runner past second base against UT's Rhodes and CSU managed just two walks by first baseman Katie McKay in the bottom of the first and fourth innings.
Tennessee threatened in the second as sophomore catcher Brittany Bessho singled down the left field line and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore leftfielder India Chiles delivered a hard shot to third to position runners on first and second with one out. Once again the Lady Vols failed to capitalize as a fielder's choice and a groundout ended the inning with two left on.
More aggressiveness finally paid dividends for Tennessee in the third inning as Cline singled up the middle and then swiped both second and third before junior rightfielder Stacey Jennings mashed a long round-tripper to center to score two runs and grant UT a 3-0 advantage.
Chiles got the Orange & White rally going in the top of the fourth with a single deep into the hole at third. With two outs, Chiles swiped second and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Fekete. Ahead 4-0, Tennessee poured on the offense as a base hit by junior third baseman Kristi Durant and a throwing error by CSU rightfielder Jennifer Pardue plated Fekete and opened the floodgates for the Lady Vols.
After Cline was hit by a pitch to place runners at first and second with two outs, Card registered the biggest blow of the game with a line shot up the middle. The Soddy Daisy, Tenn., native's groundball rolled through the legs of Charleston Southern centerfielder Ashley Robinson and all the way to the wall as Durant and Cline scored and Card raced all the way around the diamond to improve the score to 8-0.
The Lady Vols tacked on their final run in the top of the fifth as a single up the middle by Schutzler plated Chiles from second. Rhodes struck out two of the last three Charleston Southern hitters she faced in the bottom of the fifth as UT posted their second run-rule contest of the campaign.
No. 7 Tennessee will continue play at the Georgia Southern Invitational on Sat., Feb. 19, as the Lady Vols face the Mercer Bears at 10 a.m. and the homestanding Georgia Southern Eagles at noon. Check into utladyvols.com or the Lady Vol Hotline (865-974-8700, #6) for more updates as they become available.