March 12, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On the strength of seven first-inning runs, the fourth-ranked University of Tennessee softball team took the second game of Saturday's Southeastern Conference doubleheader with No. 8 Alabama, 7-1. The Lady Vols have now won 13 straight and improve to 29-3, 2-0 in SEC play. Alabama falls to 24-6, 0-2 in SEC contests. The Big Orange claimed a 3-1 victory in game one to start the day. Tennessee took a series from the Crimson Tide for the first time since sweeping a two-game set on Mar. 22, 1997.
Alabama took a 1-0 lead in its half of the first on an RBI single from third baseman Staci Ramsey, but Tennessee then stormed back with seven of its own in the bottom of the frame. The Lady Vols manufactured the runs on six singles, three walks and a double.
Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler, junior center fielder Sarah Fekete and junior third baseman Kristi Durant led off the inning with singles. Schutzler scored on Durant's single for Tennessee's first run. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline sacrificed the runners to second and third while reaching herself on a fielder's choice.
Freshman catcher Shannon Doepking moved each runner up one base with a single to left, increasing UT's lead to 2-1. After a fly out for the first out, freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan walked to force in Durant. Junior rightfielder Stacey Jennings then singled to left to score Cline, giving the Lady Vols a 4-1 advantage. Sophomore Brittany Bessho came in as a pinch hitter and promptly cleared the bases with a sizzling double down the right field line and the Big Orange had a 7-1 lead.
That would be the final time either team would cross the plate.
Sophomore pitcher Monica Abbott (W, 20-1, 5-2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 K) came on in relief to earn the win.
Schutzler highlighted the Tennessee attack in the doubleheader, going 2-for-3 in the nightcap following a 2-for-4 performance in the first contest.
"Lindsay was especially on fire today," Weekly said. "Bessho's hit was a key hit. Monica (Abbott) pitched like a champion all day long.
"This was our first series victory over Alabama since Karen and I have been here," the fourth-year coach said. "It's extra special when our opponent has as good a program as Alabama does. Today was our day in a lot of areas, but we know that Alabama will be back tomorrow and it will be another battle."
The No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols will conclude the SEC series with the Crimson Tide with a single game on Sunday. First pitch will be at 1 p.m. Check into utladyvols.com for live stats or call the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (#6) for voicemail updates during live game action.