Oct. 16, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The annual Tennessee Lady Vol Fall Softball Classic proved a stellar exhibition showcase for the squad wearing the Orange & White uniforms as the Lady Vols raced to a perfect 6-0 record while outscoring their opposition by a staggering 54-1 count with five run-rule games. UT defeated East Tennessee State (10-0, 5 inn.), Lee University (11-0, 5 inn.), Vol State (9-1, 5 inn.), Memphis (5-0), Milligan (9-0, 5 inn.) and Walters State (10-0, 5 inn.) over the two-day event at Tennessee's Tyson Park complex.
"This weekend was a good opportunity for us to play someone wearing different colors," said Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly. "Our speed game was truly phenomenal, and we had four slappers hit over .400 for the entire tourney. Karen (co-head coach Weekly) has done a super job working with that group. I was pleased with the effort of all our players. We now need to return to the practice field to continue working on the fundamentals that will make us a better team in 2007.
It was great to see Lindsay Schutzler back in the lead-off slot. She hit well all weekend and ignited our offense in every game. I thought that our pitching was the high point of the tournament. All three of our hurlers threw very well and are working extremely hard. (Monica) Abbott and (Megan) Rhodes were at the top of their game, while (Danielle) Pieroni showed significant improvement over last year."
Senior India Chiles, the Southeastern Conference's top returning hitter from the 2006 campaign, led the Big Orange during the fall tournament with a .667 average, while freshman Tiffany Huff registered a .440 average with nine runs-batted-in. Senior Lindsay Schutzler, a first-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American in '06, hit over .400 with a home run and two triples, junior '06 first-team NFCA All-American Tonya Callahan drove in eight runs while contributing at the dish at a .365 clip and junior catcher Shannon Doepking tallied a .333 mark with a homer and five RBI. Lady Vol pitchers Monica Abbott, Megan Rhodes and Danielle Pieroni each picked up a pair of victories during the weekend. Abbott, a three-time first-team NFCA All-American senior, and Rhodes, a junior, averaged over 12K's per outing, while sophomore Pieroni struck out 14 in the triumph over Walters State.