March 20, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Lady Vol hurler Monica Abbott won for the third time this weekend with a complete-game four-hitter over Mississippi State on Sunday as the Big Orange completed the sweep with a 3-1 victory. The sophomore earned wins in the first two contests on Saturday. For the weekend she threw 18 innings and allowed one run on six hits. The Lady Vols secured Sunday's win by manufacturing two runs in the first, allowing one in the fourth and adding an insurance tally in the sixth.
In the Lady Vols' half of the first, sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler led off the frame with a single which dropped 10 feet from the left field line. She would advance on the play when the Bulldog leftfielder bobbled the ball. Junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete followed up with a perfectly placed bunt single. After Fekete stole second to place runners on second and third with nobody out, it appeared that Mississippi State might get out of the jam when the next two Lady Vols were retired. Freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan thought otherwise and hit a blooping double to right field to plate both runners.
Mississippi State cut UT's lead to 2-1 in the fourth. Blair Geddings led off
the inning with a single to center and moved to third on a double by shortstop
Courtney Bures. After a popup, Tanelda McDonald hit a deep fly to left,
scoring Geddings. On the play, Bures was thrown out attempting to advance to
third as Lady Vol third baseman Kristi Durant cut the ball off and ran towards
and caught the runner before she could safely reach the bag.
The Bulldogs rallied in the sixth. With one out, Abbott hit centerfielder Keri McFarling and, on a bunt from Geddings, Abbott threw the ball errantly to first to allow Geddings to reach and McFarling to advance to third. After shortstop Courtney Bures was hit to load the bases, Abbott escaped the jam by striking out the next batter and inducing a fly ball to left.
Tennessee then added a solo run in its half of the sixth as rightfielder Stacey Jennings reached on an infield hit, stole second and scored on a double down the left field line by sophomore pinch hitter Brittany Bessho.
The 3-1 advantage was too much for MSU to overcome in the final frame. Callye Williams led off with a double to center, but was stranded there as Abbott retired the final three hitters of the game.
"That was a great college fastpitch game," Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "Both teams challenged on several occasions and we were fortunate to come out on top.
The Lady Vols hit the road for three contests. UT takes on Liberty in a doubleheader at 2 p.m. on Tuesday before facing Virginia on Thursday with first pitch slated for 3 p.m.