March 6, 2005
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. - The fifth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol softball team successfully advanced to the Charleston Southern Tournament title game with a 4-0 blanking of the College of Charleston in semifinal playoff action. The Orange & White utilized a complete game, 15-strikeout performance from sophomore hurler Monica Abbott (14-1), a two-run single from freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan and RBI's from juniors Stacey Jennings and Katherine Card to register the victory and improve the team's overall record to 22-3.
Neither team mounted a serious offense attack until the second inning when the Lady Vols jumped out to a 1-0 advantage behind Jennings' RBI single. With Card at second and Callahan at first, the Aurora, Colo., native drilled a shot deep into the hole at short and beat out the play to plate Card with the first run of the contest.
College of Charleston managed three hits off the All-American Abbott and positioned runners at second base in both the second and third innings and even advanced a player to third in the fifth but could not string together enough offense to plate a run as the Salinas, Calif., native registered 15 of the Lady Vols' 21 outs by strikeout.
Tennessee added to its advantage in the bottom of the fourth inning on Card's RBI single up the middle. Freshman Shannon Doepking led off the frame by reaching first on a throwing error by College of Charleston third baseman Berni Martinez. She managed to advance into scoring position as the ball ended up rolling around near the Cougar dugout. Freshman LaDonna Oliver was summoned into the contest to pinch run for the UT catcher and promptly scored on Card's base knock for a 2-0 UT advantage.
With Abbott solidly in control on the hill, the Orange & White added some insurance in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Junior third baseman Kristi Durant led off the frame with a solid single down the right field line and was removed for pinch runner Caitlin Ryan. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline singled on a bunt back to the pitcher to place runners at first and second. Doepking flied out to left field to advance the runners up a bag and set the stage for Callahan's two RBI shot for a 4-0 UT lead.
The No. 5 Lady Vols will play for the title at the Charleston Southern Tournament on Sun., Mar. 6, at approximately 3:45 p.m. ET against the Villanova Wildcats. Check into utladyvols.com or call the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (#6) for updates and postgame stories.