Tennessee Classic Notes
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 5 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (9-1) is preparing to open its brand new Lee Softball Stadium by serving as hosts to the inaugural Tennessee Classic over Feb. 21-24 in Knoxville, Tenn. UT will battle BYU in its tourney opener on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 5 p.m.
The four teams that will be visiting the new facility for the tournament include BYU, Virginia, Wagner and Louisiana-Monroe. UT’s contest against the Cougars marks the second-earliest home opener in program history. The Lady Vols began their 2003 home campaign on Feb. 19 against Appalachian State, registering a 3-0 victory.
Tennessee will be facing off against BYU (twice), Virginia (twice), Wagner and Louisiana-Monroe. All-time the Lady Vols are 1-0 against BYU after an 11-6 (9 inn.) victory over the Cougars on Feb. 6, 2004, in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The Big Orange maintain a 4-2 mark against Virginia with the last meeting a 10-0 UT win in Charlottesville, Va., back on March 24, 2005. Tennessee is 2-1 all-time versus Louisiana-Monroe having taken a pair of match-ups between the two teams (5-3, 3-2) during their last meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., on Feb. 21, 2003. UT will battle Wagner for the first time in school history.
All-time in home lid-lifters, the Big Orange are 11-1 with the lone defeat coming to Kansas on March 10, 2000, at the Lady Vol Spring Invitational. During the six-plus year tenure of co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly, the Orange & White boast a perfect 6-0 mark in home openers.
Last weekend, Tennessee went 4-1 at the USF Best Western Tournament in Tampa, Fla., with senior third baseman Tonya Callahan leading the Lady Vol offense through the event with a .571 (8-of-14) average, a double, triple, HR and seven RBI. The Holden, Mo., native highlighted her production at the plate by going 4-for-4 with three RBI, and registering what is believed to be the first cycle in Tennessee softball history, during a 6-1 win over Hofstra. Callahan singled in the first inning, tripled in the second, homered in the fourth and doubled in the sixth against the Pride to wrap up the cycle. She was also 2-for-4 and responsible for UT’s first three RBI (including the eventual game-winner) in a 6-2 come-from-behind win over Florida Gulf Coast. Callahan singled twice in a 2-0 win over Ole Miss and drew a bases loaded walk versus Florida A&M to force in a run.
Senior shortstop Kenora Posey tallied a .462 average (6-of-13) with three runs scored and four steals, while junior left fielder Lillian Hammond hit .333 with six runs scored.
Freshman pitcher Ashton Ward, previously the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) National Collegiate Player of the Week (Feb. 12th), continued her strong production from the circle with a 3-1 record and a 0.81 ERA over 17.1 innings of work. Opponents also hit just .129 against the rookie in four appearances at the event with eight total hits allowed.
Live stats of Tennessee’s games will be available from the Tennessee Classic through utladyvols.com. Periodic voicemail updates will also be provided on the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (box #6).