April 30, 2005
OXFORD, Miss. - The University of Tennessee softball team (51-11, 15-8 Southeastern Conference) was led by sophomore pitcher Monica Abbott and her fifth no-hitter of the season for a 4-0 victory over Ole Miss (27-26, 7-18 SEC) in game one of Saturday's doubleheader. She struck out 15 Rebels, tying for the eighth-highest strikeout total for the Salinas, Calif., native.
When she tallied her 10th strikeout of the contest in the fourth inning, Abbott recorded her 55th double-figure strikeout game. At that point, Abbott had struck out 10-of-11 hitters. The no-hitter was the ninth of her illustrious career and the eighth of the season by the Lady Vols as a team. Earlier this campaign, freshman Megan Rhodes tossed two and junior Stacey Jennings had one.
"Monica threw an outstanding game and led us to victory," Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said.
Tennessee struck first for a single tally in the initial frame. Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler led off with a walk and stole second. Junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete followed with an infield hit, beating out a bunt to third. Schutzler advanced to third on the play. A few pitches later, Fekete attempted to steal second, was thrown out, but Schtuzler crossed home on the play to give UT a 1-0 advantage.
In the third, sophomore designated player India Chiles beat out an infield hit to shortstop and preceded to steal second. Schutzler then singled to right and Chiles rounded third and scored as the Big Orange took a 2-0 advantage. On the play, Rebel right fielder Vanessa Gibbs bobbled the ball, which allowed Schutzler to advance to second, but she was stranded on the base paths.
The Orange and White then grabbed a 4-0 advantage in its half of the sixth. Freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan hit a single to left and her pinch runner, freshman LaDonna Oliver, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt put down by freshman catcher Shannon Doepking. Junior leftfielder Katherine Card then went the other way for a double to left center, scoring Oliver. Jennings then earned an RBI by proceeding to single to right, plating Card for the second tally of the frame.
In the Rebel half of the sixth, Rebecca McIntire reached after being hit by an Abbott offering and would be stranded as the lone Ole Miss player to reach the base paths in the contest.
Offensive leaders for the Lady Vols included Fekete (2-for-3) and Card (1-for-3 with a run scored and RBI).
The Rebels and Lady Vols play the second game of their doubleheader before completing the three-game series with a single contest on Sunday. First pitch for that game will be at 1 p.m. CDT.