March 19, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On the strength of a blast off the bat of freshman catcher Shannon Doepking, which came within mere inches of clearing the right-centerfield fence for a grand slam, the Lady Vols tallied three go-ahead runs for a 7-4 advantage over Mississippi State on their way to an 8-4 win on Saturday. Sophomore pitcher Monica Abbott came on in relief to secure the win by retiring 12-of-13 batters and tossing four scoreless innings. She moved to 23-1 with the win.
"Mississippi State gave us a battle all day long," Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "Shannon Doepking's three-RBI double blew the game open. Monica Abbott continued to shine on the mound and Sarah Fekete really shined at the plate today (going 5-for-5 in the doubleheader). We're happy to get the wins and look forward to a tough single contest tomorrow.
Both teams scored a run in the first. Mississippi State was able to get its rally started when leadoff batter Keri McFarling reached on an error and scored on designated player Jennifer Jessup's double down the left field line.
Tennessee came right back in its half of the first to tie the contest, 1-1.
Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler led off with a walk, was sacrificed to
second by junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete and moved to third on a single to
right from junior third baseman Kristi Durant. Schutzler advanced the final 90
feet on an RBI single to left from junior centerfielder Katherine Card.
MSU took the lead right back, 2-1, in the top of the second when rightfielder Katie Cooley smashed a home run over the leftfield fence. Her shot came with two outs in the frame.
Tennessee responded with three runs and a 4-2 advantage in the bottom of the second. Freshman designated player Kortney Bell led off with an infield single. She advanced to second on a single to center from sophomore second baseman Ashley Cline. After the runners moved up to second and third with two outs on a ground out, Fekete drove in one with an infield single and Card plated two more with a single to center.
Mississippi State kept the offensive tone of the game going with two in the top of the third to tie the game, 4-4. With the bases loaded and one out, second baseman Callye Williams doubled up the left-center gap and to the wall for two RBI.
After a pair of scoreless half-innings, the Big Orange then tallied three in the fourth inning with Doepking's one-out bases loaded shot high off the wall. A towering blast by Jennings to lead off the fifth cleared the leftfield fence and moved UT's lead to 8-4. Neither team was able to add to its respective score the rest of the way as the Big Orange held on for the 8-4 victory.
The Lady Vols and Bulldogs wrap up the three-game series with a single contest at Tyson Park on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.