March 5, 2005

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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. --­ The Tennessee Lady Vol softball squad improved its overall record to 19-3 with a commanding 11-0, five-inning victory over the Furman Lady Paladins in Pool A action at the Charleston Southern Tournament in Summerville, S.C. Sophomore hurler Monica Abbott allowed three hits and struck out nine in five innings of work while junior third baseman Kristi Durant came up just a triple short of hitting for the cycle with a single, double and a two-run home run. Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler (2-4, run scored), rookie catcher Shannon Doepking (2-2, run scored) and freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan (2-2, run scored) each registered two runs-batted-in during the triumph.

"I was pleased with the way we came out playing aggressively and scored in the first inning," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Karen Weekly. "We got a lot of hitting out of people we needed to step up and swing the bats better. We still need to learn to play every inning and perform to our best in all phases of every game.

Tennessee wasted no time in jumping on Furman pitcher Jessica Mathis (5 IP, 14 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 4 K) by pushing three runs across the plate in the first inning. As she has done so many times this season, Schutzler reached on a lead-off single and promptly swiped second for her team-best 12th theft of the campaign. After a sacrifice bunt from junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete advanced the UT runner to third, Durant came through with her first hit of the game by singling in Schutzler with the game's initial run. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline delivered a base knock through the left side to place runners at first and second with one down and set the stage for Doepking who laced a hit to right for an RBI. After a fielder's choice by junior utility player Katherine Card, Callahan delivered a sacrifice fly to right field for a 3-0 Lady Vol lead.

In the second a fielding error on a bunt by Furman third baseman Lyndy Wilcox came back to haunt the Lady Paladins as Durant blasted a two-run home run to right field to plate sophomore designated player India Chiles.

After Abbott (5 IP, 3 H, 9 K) struck out two of her nine batters in the bottom of the second, Tennessee added on to its lead with two more runs in the top of the third. Three consecutive singles by Card, Doepking and Callahan loaded the bases for pinch-hitter Brittany Bessho. She hit an RBI groundball to second base to plate Card for a 6-0 advantage. Schutzler delivered again with two outs in the inning with a two-run base hit to center to improve the lead to 8-0.

The advantage ballooned to 11 runs in the fourth as UT scored three more times on a sacrifice fly by Doepking, a Callahan single up the middle and a Stacey Jennings base hit through the left side. Overall, the Tennessee freshmen delivered a 5-for-8 effort with four RBI in the match up against Furman.

The No. 5 Lady Vols will continue Pool A play at the Charleston Southern Tournament on Sat., Mar. 5, in bracket playoffs at either 6:30 or 8:30 p.m. UT's opponent and official game time are still to be determined by an afternoon slate of contests. Check into utladyvols.com or call the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (#6) for updates and postgame stories.





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