April 21, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - It's hard to believe, but the final mid-week contest of the 2009 regular-season awaits No. 15 Tennessee (35-11-1, 11-8-1 SEC) on Wed., April 22nd, at the Lee Softball Stadium as Appalachian State (22-23, 14-9 SoCon) ventures to Knoxville for a single contest at 7 p.m. ET.
The Sports Animal (990 AM, 99.1, 99.3 FM) will broadcast the match-up on radio with Chip Kain behind the microphone, while live stats will be available through utladyvols.com.
The Big Orange possesses a 7-0 all-time record in a series with the Mountaineers that dates back to the 2002 season, the first at the helm of the UT program for co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly. The two squads haven't played since 2007 when the Lady Vols swept a tough March 6th doubleheader, 1-0 and 7-1.
Tennessee will be looking to get back on track after dropping two out of three games in league play versus Ole Miss last weekend in Oxford, Miss. After triumphing in Saturday's opener over the Rebels, 5-2, the Big Orange dropped a 4-1 decision before suffering a walk-off defeat in Sunday's storm-plagued series finale, 7-6.
A pair of freshmen, shortstop Ashley Andrews and third baseman Jessica Spigner, led UT's offense during its stay in "The Magnolia State" as each hit .500 (5-of-10) at the plate over the three-game set. Andrews posted a 3-for-3 effort with a double and triple in the Orange & White's 4-1 loss to UM, while Spigner registered a perfect 4-for-4 day at the dish with two doubles and a pair of RBIs in the series finale. Junior second baseman Nicole Kajitani continued her recent offensive surge by knocking in two more runs in the opener while going 2-for-2 in theft attempts. Over UT's last nine contests, the San Bernardino, Calif., native has tallied a .371 average with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and a team-best 13 RBIs.
Head coach Amy Herrington's Mountaineers enter Wednesday's action with a 22-23 overall record in tow. As a team Appalachian State is hitting .248 while scoring at a 4.3 run-per-game clip. The offense is currently being led by sophomore standout Katie Boyd, who has recorded a .372 average (42-of-112) with team-highs in doubles (11), home runs (13), walks (53) and RBIs (38). The Walkertown, N.C., native slugs at a .832 clip, owns a .574 on-base percentage and is a threat to steal, having swiped 11 bases in 12 attempts. In all eight ASU players have tallied more than 12 RBIs, with freshman Michelle Lighton (.206) trailing only Boyd by totaling 27. Sophomore Sarah Rappe has added a team-high 27 thefts and 31 runs scored in addition to a .285 average. The Mountaineers possess some pop at the plate, tallying 43 doubles and 28 home runs over their 45 games played in 2009.
Senior Kayla Richardson has seen the most work from the circle, firing 170.0 innings while recording a 12-13 record, a 2.43 ERA, 20 complete games and 133 strikeouts. Freshman Ashley Stubbs holds a 9-9 mark and a 2.73 ERA in 105.0 frames of support. Seniors Teri Fister (1-1, 4.97 ERA, 25.1 IP) and Yancy Moose (0-0, 4.85 ERA, 4.1 IP) round out a four-member staff that owns a 2.78 team ERA while holding opponents to just a .236 average. In fact, then-sophomore Moose fired a three-hitter during ASU's 1-0 loss to Tennessee back during the 2007 campaign, giving up a game-winning RBI single in the fourth inning to Danielle Pieroni.