March 4, 2005

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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. - A fourth-inning solo home run by Providence rightfielder Rachel Bartholomew off Tennessee sophomore hurler Monica Abbott (11-1) proved the difference as UT (16-3) dropped its third-straight contest overall with a 1-0 loss to the Providence Friars in opening game action at the Charleston Southern Tournament in Summerville, S.C. The Lady Vols registered two hits in the contest and left four runners on base.

"Providence pitcher Nicole Bartholomew threw a great game against us," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. "We just did not come out ready to play today. Providence was extremely fired up to play Tennessee, and they showed it.

The Orange & White had a golden opportunity to draw first blood in the bottom of the first inning as sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler and junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete drew consecutive walks to lead off the frame. Unfortunately for the Lady Vols, a foul out to third by junior third baseman Kristi Durant and consecutive strikeouts ended the scoring chance.

After suffering three straight K's in the top of the first off Abbott, Providence mounted a threat in the top of the second after the 6'3" lefty hit Friar lead off batter Michelle Willette. A sacrifice bunt and flyout to right field advanced the runner to third with two down, but Abbott struck out pitcher Nicole Bartholomew to end the inning.

The Friars touched UT for the first run of the contest in the top of the fourth as leadoff hitter and rightfielder Rachel Bartholomew drove a 1-2 pitch from Abbott to left center field for a 1-0 advantage. The occurrence marked just the second run and first home run of the season given up by the Salinas, Calif., native in 16 appearances and 85 innings of work in 2005.

The Orange & White had a chance to even up the contest in the bottom of the sixth inning as Fekete led off the frame with a bunt single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice by Durant. However, freshman catcher Shannon Doepking grounded out to first unassisted and Providence first baseman Jaclyn Treveloni gunned down Fekete at third for the final out of the frame.

Fekete provided the defensive play of the day with one down in the top of the seventh inning. On a soft fly ball to short right center field by Providence designated player Sam Pittman, the Maryville, Tenn., native raced in from her centerfield position and fully extended herself to make a diving grab. Briefly shaken up on the play, Fekete remained in the contest.

No. 5 Tennessee continues its action at the Charleston Southern Tournament at 2 p.m. on Fri. by facing the Northern Colorado Bears. Check into utladyvols.com or call the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (#6) for updates and postgame stories.





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