April 19, 2005
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - At 3:49 p.m. CDT on Tuesday afternoon, sophomore Tennessee softball pitcher Monica Abbott etched her name into the NCAA record books with her 1,000th career strikeout, joining 27 other Division I players who entered 2005 with 1,000. She struck out Fallon Felts of Austin Peay swinging on a 1-2 pitch for the second out in the fifth inning. The sit down was the fourth of five consecutive and ninth of 10 Abbott tallied in the contest in improving to 33-5 on the season.
"Monica reached a great milestone today," Co-Head Coach Karen Weekly said. "She has meant a lot to our program and we're proud of her accomplishment."
In the same exact frame, junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete returned to the playing field for the first time since breaking her jaw in a 10-0 win at Virginia on March 24. She patrolled center field in Abbott's historic inning and the two innings following but did not see a ball come her way in her three innings in the field. The Southeastern Conference's leading hitter (currently batting .500) took a spot in the batter's box in the Tennessee sixth but went back to center after a couple pitches when junior right fielder Stacey Jennings was caught stealing. To lead off the seventh, she hit a soft liner to shortstop.
Both teams went down in order in their initial two frames. In the top of the third, the Lady Vols struck for a run and a 1-0 lead on the strength of three singles and four stolen bases. With one out, junior centerfielder Stacey Jennings became Tennessee's first base runner on a bunt single to third. She then proceeded to steal second and third before scoring on sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler's single to right center. Schutzler stole second and advanced to third on sophomore right fielder India Chiles' infield single. After Chiles stole second, Schutzler and Chiles were stranded at third and second, respectively.
Tennessee responded by adding to its lead with a trio of runs in its half of the frame. After freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, junior left fielder Katherine Card hit her team-leading seventh round-tripper of the season over the right center fence.
Later in the inning, Jennings hit a short pop-up which landed just out of reach of the Lady Gov second baseman and went into right field. Before it could be retrieved, Jennings cruised into second with a double. Sophomore pinch hitter Brittany Bessho drove her in with a single to left.
Offensive leaders for the game included Schutzler (2-for-3 with an RBI), Chiles (3-for-4) and Jennings (3-for-3 with two runs scored). Freshman pitcher Megan Rhodes tossed two hitless innings to complete UT's 35th shutout of the season.
After playing the second game of the doubleheader, the Lady Vols return home for its final five home games of the season, taking on No. 12 Georgia. The Saturday doubleheader will be broadcast live on CSS and starts at 1 p.m. The squads will play a single contest at 1 p.m. on Sunday.