May 7, 2005
BATON ROUGE, La. - The 10th-ranked University of Tennessee softball team (55-11, 19-8 Southeastern Conference) topped LSU, 3-0, on Saturday as freshman pitcher Megan Rhodes tossed her eighth shutout of the season. The win tied the school record of 55 for Tennessee as last year's squad set the mark with its 55-16 season.
After not scoring until the ninth inning in game one of Saturday's twin-bill (a 1-0 Lady Vol win), the Big Orange wasted no time in the nightcap, manufacturing a single tally in the first with a walk, single, sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly and passed ball. Leadoff hitter Lindsay Schutzler singled to left center and was moved to second by junior centerfielder Sarah Fekete's sacrifice bunt. Schutzler then advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly executed by freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan.
Although two hits in the second did not result in any Lady Vol runs, three hits in the third did result in a pair of Big Orange tallies and a 3-0 UT lead. Schutzler beat out a single which went mere inches from home plate and Fekete reached on an infield hit to the pitcher. Junior third baseman Kristi Durant moved them to second and third with a ground out. Callahan earned her second RBI off the contest with a groundout to short to plate Schutzler, while Doepking drove in Fekete with a single to second.
Two LSU Tigers reached on two-out singles in the third but were stranded by freshman pitcher Megan Rhodes. Neither team would have two runners reach base in a single inning the rest of the way as Rhodes retired 13-of-the-last-14 batters, only allowing a two-out walk in the fifth.
"We're really proud of the way the team played today," Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "LSU is just coming off of a sweep of Florida and is very tough at home. All of the credit goes to our pitching and defense. Shutting them out for 16 innings is very tough (LSU entered the game averaging 5.4 runs/game).
"(Co-Head Coach) Karen and I thought that Lindsay Schutzler played spectacular at shortstop today. She made at least 10 tough plays that all had a bearing on the games today. Megan Rhodes pitched very well and got stronger with each inning. We were happy for her to get a shutout on the road.
"LSU is very well coached and will be an extremely tough opponent tomorrow."
The squads will conclude regular-season play with a 1 p.m. CDT contest on Sunday. The Lady Vols have clinched the No. 4 seed for the SEC Tournament, which begins on Thursday in Gainesville, Fla., and will face the fifth-seeded Gators in their opening game. The tourney will have a double-elimination format.