Feb. 20, 2009
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Lady Vol freshmen Jessica Spigner and Shelby Burchell each delivered solo homers to support a one-hit, complete-game shutout from fellow rookie Cat Hosfield as No. 9 Tennessee (10-1) defeated Loyola Marymount, 5-0, in UT's opener on Thursday night at the prestigious Cathedral City Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
Hosfield improved to 7-1 on the season by striking out eight Lion batters, including four in a row at one point, while allowing only a single and walking none over seven innings of work. In fact the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native faced just one batter over the seven frame minimum of 21.
Offensively, in addition to Spigner and Burchell's power contribution, senior left fielder Lillian Hammond and freshman shortstop Ashley Andrews (one steal) each tallied a 2-for-3 day at the plate, while the former swiped three of Tennessee's five total bases.
Following a one-two-three top of the first for Tennessee's Hosfield, the Big Orange jumped in front on the scoreboard in the bottom half with the help of three Loyola Marymount defensive miscues. With one retired in the first, Hammond was struck by the first pitch she saw from Lion hurler Corie Goodman. Following a Hammond steal, junior first baseman Tiffany Huff laced a ground ball to short that LMU's Megan Ackerman corralled. Her throw to first was in time but dropped at the bag by Kelly Sarginson for an error as Hammond raced to third. With Spigner standing in the box, Huff took off for second attempting to pull off the delayed double steal with Hammond racing to the plate. The throw from the catcher to second was cut off. Amy Charpentier's throw to the plate was just late allowing the runner to score via a collision and Huff to advance to third as the ball escaped to the backstop. Following a pop-up on the infield, Webb bounced to short but again the toss to first was dropped by Sarginson for her second miscue of the frame as Huff scored for a 2-0 lead.
LMU got its lone base runner of the contest leading off the top of the second as designated player Chelsea Tysdal singled to center field. UT's 5-9 right hander responded by dealing with a successful sacrifice bunt that advanced the runner into scoring position and then inducing a fly to center from Sarginson and a ground out to third from Charpentier.
With Hosfield cruising from the circle, the Big Orange added to its scoreboard advantage in the bottom of the third. Hammond opened the frame with a single to short and promptly swiped second. Huff reached on a fielding error on the second baseman allowing the runner to improve to third with no one retired. Junior Nicole Kajitani was inserted into the line-up to pinch run for Huff and took off for second as UT attempted another double steal. She was gunned down at second on a strong throw from LMU catcher Darcy Pagnini, but Hammond raced across the dish with Tennessee's third tally.
In the sixth the Lady Vols flexed their muscle with the long ball. Spigner opened the frame with a towering solo homer to left, her team-best fourth of the season. Burchell followed one out later with a bomb to right center as the Big Orange moved in front by a 5-0 count.
From there Hosfield roared through Loyola Marymount's line-up one-two-three in the top of the seventh as third baseman Sam Fischer struck out and both Pagnini and Tysdal grounded to short, completing UT's 10th win of 2009.
No. 9 Tennessee will return to action against No. 15 Massachusetts on Friday, February 20th, at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET at Big League Dreams Sports Park. Live stats will be available through utladyvols.com via Gametracker. Periodic voicemail updates will be recorded on the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (select box #6).