Feb. 25, 2005
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Junior third baseman Kristi Durant went 3-for-3 at the plate and tied a career-high with six RBI, sophomore Monica Abbott fired her sixth career no-hitter (5 IP, 0 H, 7 K) and freshman Kortney Bell hit a towering home run to left field as No. 5 Tennessee pounded No. 20 Pacific, 14-0, in the Lady Vols' opener at the Palm Springs Classic.
The Orange & White improved their overall record to 14-0 while the Tigers fell to 7-2. The 14 runs were the most scored by UT since registering 16 in a rout of New Mexico State on Feb. 14, 2004, while the run total was the most allowed by Pacific since April 2, 1994.
"India Chiles speed on the bases has added a huge dimension to our offense attack," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. "With Chiles in the ninth spot followed by (Lindsay) Schutzler, (Sarah) Fekete and then Durant, we have an opportunity to score runs in every game. Karen (Co-Head Coach Weekly) and I were very proud of the whole team. This is a satisfying victory against a team as good as Pacific. Kortney Bell's monster home run hit the 300-foot mark on one bounce.
Following a one-two-three inning by Abbott (two K's) in the top of the first, Tennessee struck in the bottom of the frame with two runs. Schutzler began the attack with a single out in front of the catcher, but was cut down trying to swipe second. Centerfielder Sarah Fekete followed with a one-out walk and scored UT's initial run of the contest after Durant tripled to deep left field for a 1-0 advantage. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline followed with a sharp single through the left side to plate Durant for a 2-0 lead.
After another efficient inning by Tennessee's All-American hurler, the Lady Vols erupted for seven runs in the second as 11 batters came to the plate against Pacific's Alyce Jorgensen. Freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan drew a walk to start the inning and was followed by consecutive base knocks by Chiles and Schutzler to load the bases with none down. After a wild pitch scored Callahan from third, Durant, UT's career leader in batting average, strode to the plate and drove a pitch to deep center as Pacific centerfielder Gina Carbonatto made a valiant effort to come down with the grab. However, she couldn't quite reach the ball and crashed through the temporary center field fence as the umpire ruled the play a Tennessee grand slam.
Ahead 7-0, the Orange & White continued to pour it on in the second inning as a single and stolen base by Cline were cashed in on a double to left by leftfielder Katherine Card. UT made it 9-0 as Card raced home on a two-bagger to left center by Callahan.
In the bottom of the third it was Bell's turn to provide the offense as the freshman blasted a pitch from UP hurler Lauren Sandelin deep to left to score Durant and Schutzler to grant UT a 12-0 advantage.
Fekete added a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the fourth and Durant made it a six-RBI game with a sacrifice fly to center to score Callahan as UT set the score at 14-0.
Needing just three outs for her sixth career no-hitter, Abbott induced a groundout to first by second baseman Lizzie Hagen, struck out third baseman Crystal Presson and got rightfielder Jennifer Harrell to groundout to Callahan at first to complete the five-inning, seven-strikeout performance. The Salinas, Calif., native just missed out on a perfect game by hitting a Pacific batter in the third inning.
No. 5 Tennessee continues its action at the Palm Springs Classic by moving on
to face the No. 18/22 Oregon State Beavers at 8:30 p.m. ET.