March 15, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The No. 4 Lady Vol softball team (30-4, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) took game one of a SEC doubleheader, 9-1, over the South Carolina Gamecocks (20-11, 5-2 SEC) on Tuesday afternoon. Not only was hurler Monica Abbott (W, 20-1, 6 IP, 1 H, 15 K) dominating, but the Lady Vol offense was equally impressive.
South Carolina scored its lone run and broke up Abbott's no-hitter with a deep shot over the left-center fence by centerfielder Chrissy Schoonmaker with nobody out in the sixth. Abbott then proceeded to sit down the next three hitters on strikeouts to finish with 15 on the game, tied for the sixth-highest total in her career.
"This was one of the most dominating performances I've seen her throw," Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said of the sophomore. "She made one bad pitch to South Carolina and they made her pay."
After both teams went down in order in the first, junior leftfielder Katherine Card led off the second inning with a double to right field, was sacrificed to third by freshman catcher Shannon Doepking, and scored with two outs when freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan doubled off the left-centerfield wall.
The Lady Vols then rallied again in the third, starting with a trio of singles to load the bases. Leadoff hitter Ashley Cline, a sophomore second baseman, beat out a grounder to second. Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler then layed down a bunt to third and reached first before the throw. Junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete followed with a liner up the middle. After a pair of grounders which the Gamecocks threw home to force respective runners at third, Doepking lined Tennessee's second double off the left-centerfield fence, scoring all three runners to give Tennessee a 4-0 advantage.
Tennessee then put the game out of reach with a five-run sixth. Freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan led off by reaching via an error on a hard grounder off the shortstop's glove and into center field. With one out, Cline walked and Schutzler showed impressive patience by holding off on a slow ball before lining it into left-center field to load the bases with one out. Durant then plated two runs with a liner to right-center, moving the Big Orange's lead to 6-0. Card cleared the bases with a powerful three-run shot over the right-center fence for her team-leading fifth homer of the season and the Lady Vols took a 9-0 advantage.
"We had a number of clutch hits today by Katherine Card, Shannon Doepking and Tonya Callahan to drive in runs, but missed eight other scoring opportunities," Weekly said. "We need to be on top of our game and score runners in scoring position."
The No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols will continue the doubleheader with a second game today. A single game will be played at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. 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.