Feb. 11, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - No. 11 Tennessee (4-1) hits the road again this weekend by traveling down to Orlando, Fla., over Feb. 13-15 to participate in the UCF Early Bird Tournament. During its stay UT will battle North Florida, UT-Arlington, UCF, #25 Kansas and Villanova.
The Orange & White have posted incredible success during the month of February since Co-Head Coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly arrived to helm the program prior to the 2002 campaign. The Lady Vols hold a 108-20-1 overall record for the month, since opening the 2002 season, and are 61-4 in February since the start of 2005.
The '09 version of the Lady Vols made quite an impression during the opening weekend of action by outscoring the opposition (Northern Colorado, Utah State, #15 Washington, San Jose State and BYU) out at the BYU Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, by a 42-5 count while hitting .372 as a team with eight doubles and seven home runs.
Junior catcher/first baseman Tiffany Huff led the offensive assault with a .647 average, two doubles, two home runs and a staggering 15 RBIs on her way to earning both Southeastern Conference Player of the Week and USA Softball National Collegiate Co-Player of the Week honors. In a match-up against San Jose State on Feb. 7, the Saugus, Calif., native delivered a 3-for-4 performance with a career-high six RBIs. Freshman third baseman Jessica Spigner made quite a debut by hitting .471 overall with a team-best three home runs and seven RBIs, including two homers in a single match-up in the 16-0 (5 inn.) win over SJSU. Rookies Shelby Burchell and Dee Dee Fryer hammered their initial career big flies, with the former hitting .417 during the tourney. Senior Lillian Hammond (.600) and sophomore Kelly Grieve (.389) made things miserable for opponents from the top of the order by combining for 16 total hits and seven stolen bases in eight attempts. In her initial collegiate weekend clad in the Big Orange, 5-9 right hander Cat Hosfield recorded a 3-1 mark from the circle with a 0.64 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 22 innings of work. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., product fired eight innings of two-hit relief in a marathon 10-inning triumph over BYU. She also combined with sophomore Ashton Ward on a five-inning no-hitter of San Jose State.
Tennessee will be challenged down in Orlando, especially in match-ups with home-standing UCF and #25 Kansas. The Knights will have the home crowd on its side and return six starters and 10 letter winners off its 2008 NCAA Regional team that posted a 49-20 record. KU is coming off a weekend that saw the squad upset then-top-10 foes Arizona (5-1) and Northwestern (8-7) at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Despite returning six starters off a 38-win team in '08, North Florida is off to a slow start, entering the UCF event at just 1-4 overall with its lone win coming against Minnesota. Both UT-Arlington and Villanova will make their 2009 season debuts at the UCF Early Bird Tournament.
No. 11 Tennessee will open its stay at the UCF Early Bird Tournament with a 9 a.m. ET match-up versus North Florida on Friday, February 13th. Live stats should be available through utladyvols.com via Gametracker. Fans can also call the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (box #6) for periodic voicemail score updates.