March 8, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In a contest that began during snow showers in the UT home opener at Tyson Park, the No. 5 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team wasted no time in taking care of the Austin Peay Lady Govs in game one of a doubleheader by jumping on APSU pitcher Lydia Money-Gunn with nine runs in the opening inning. Overall, the Orange & White sent 13 batters to the plate in the decisive frame. Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler drilled two singles and junior Kristi Durant registered a pair of two-RBI doubles during the inning. The Lady Vols now have eight consecutive shutout victories and have outscored opponents during that run by a count of 75-1.
"We started the contest in a fantastic manner by scoring nine runs in the opening inning," said Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. "We immediately substituted liberally to allow our young players to gain some valuable playing time. I thought we were shaky on defense in the final inning, but overall it was a satisfying outing for our team. I was particularly happy with the way our players began the contest.
There were two stories in the Lady Vols' home opener as the offense clicked to score nine runs in the first inning and sophomore hurler Monica Abbott (3 IP, 0 H, 8K) and junior rightfielder/pitcher Stacey Jennings (2 IP, 2 H, 2 K) combined on a two-hit, 10-strikeout performance as Abbott improved to 16-1 on the season.
In the bottom of the first in cold, windy conditions at UT's home venue, Schutzler opened the outburst with a single up the middle and stole second to set the stage for junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete. The Maryville, Tenn., native delivered a base hit deep in the hole at short to place runners at second and third with none down. That's when Durant laced her first two-run double of the inning to right field to grant Tennessee a 2-0 lead. After sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline grounded out, freshman catcher Shannon Doepking delivered a sacrifice fly to right to score Durant.
The runs continued to pour across in the inning as junior utility player Katherine Card doubled to left and freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan singled down the right field line to score Card with UT's fourth tally. Consecutive singles by Jennings and sophomore India Chiles loaded the bases for Schutzler, who provided her second hit of the frame with a two-RBI single through the right side of the infield. Chiles later scored on a throwing error by the APSU catcher on a steal attempt by Schutzler at second for a 7-0 lead. After a Fekete walk, Durant doubled again to plate a pair and give UT all the runs they would need.
The Lady Vols left a runner on in the second and had a pair of baserunners on in both the third and fourth innings but could not add to the advantage.