Feb. 19, 2005
STATESBORO, Ga. - Tennessee freshman pitcher Megan Rhodes fired a one-hitter during a five-inning, 12-0, rout of the Mercer Bears at the Georgia Southern Invitational in Statesboro, Ga. The Nashville, Tenn., native struck out 12 of the 16 MU batters she faced. Junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete also made some program history by hitting safely in her 21st-straight contest dating back to May 11th of last season to break junior Kristi Durant's UT hit streak record (3/20-4/13/03).
"I thought we played well in all areas of the game," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. "We hit the ball well and ran the bases effectively. Both Karen (Co-Head Coach Weekly) and I thought that Megan Rhodes' pitching was outstanding.
The match up began as a pitcher's duel between Rhodes and Mercer hurler Meredith Weare as neither team mounted an offensive attack through the opening two-and-a-half innings. Rhodes was in the zone as the Tennessee career high school strikeout leader K'd nine of the first ten batters she faced.
Catcher Shannon Doepking got the Lady Vol attack going in the bottom of the third by reaching first on a leadoff walk. After freshman LaDonna Oliver was brought on to pinch run for Doepking, rookie first baseman Tonya Callahan sacrificed the runner to second. A sharp base hit to second by sophomore designated hitter India Chiles placed baserunners at the corners with one down. Chiles stole second and sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler reached on an error by the Mercer second baseman to plate Oliver with the game's first run.
After Schutzler swiped second and Fekete grounded out to the pitcher, Durant laced a two-run single up the middle for a pair of RBI. The hits kept coming for UT as sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline singled to left and junior leftfielder Katherine Card doubled to left to plate two more for a 5-0 Lady Vol lead. The big blow of the third inning came from Doepking as the rookie blasted a three-run home run to centerfield to improve the Orange & White gap to eight runs.
Tennessee scored four more times in the fourth as an RBI single from freshman Natalie Brock plated pinch-hitter Kenora Posey. Another rookie, Kortney Bell, blasted a three-run bomb to left center, to close out the season-high offensive attack for the Lady Vols at 12 runs. For the Bears, one untimely error in each of the third and fourth innings extended both frames and spelled doom as 11 of UT's 12 runs were of the unearned variety.
No. 7 Tennessee will continue play at the Georgia Southern Invitational on
Sat., Feb. 19, as the Lady Vols face 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.