Sonny Cortez's three-run home run in the ninth inning, his fifth of the

season, helped break open a one-run game as the No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers

(6-1) pulled out a 9-5 victory over the Western Carolina Catamounts (4-2)

at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C. on Sunday.

The win extends the Vols' winning streak to five games and gave them

the title at the Franklin Life Classic, where they went 4-0 over the weekend.

Justin Ross (1-0) worked 6 1/3 innings for his first win. Clark Odom

went the final 2 2/3 for his second save.

Brian Bain (1-1) suffered the loss for Western Carolina.

The Catamounts took a 2-0 lead in the first without a hit as they benefited

from a sacrifice fly, three walks, two wild pitches and a Volunteer error.

The Vols capitalized on a Catamount error in the fourth as they tied

the game at two apiece on Donnie Ross' bases-loaded single with two out.

Chuck Koone's two-out two-run home run in the bottom of the frame gave

the Catamounts a 4-2 lead, and Dave McKay's single in the fifth plated Chris

Moore for a 5-2 lead.

Two solo home runs by Kurt Keene and Josh Morris, along with a sacrifice

fly and a wild pitch by Bain, keyed a four-run sixth as the Vols took a

6-5 lead. It was Keene's second and Morris' first home run of the season.

Cortez slugged a three-run blast over the center field fence in the ninth

for a 9-5 lead.

Jeff Sziksai's RBI double bottom of the frame capped the Catamounts'

scoring.

Tennessee will take on Mercer in Macon, Ga., Feb. 20-22.

Softball Rebounds

After dropping five games in a row to start the season, the Lady Vol

softball team, which began the year ranked for the first time ever (No.

25), Tennessee bounced back with two wins Sunday in the Coca-Cola Classic

in Phoenix, Ariz.

Tennessee first pulled off a 2-1 upset win over No. 3 Washington and

followed that up with a 10-2 victory over Detroit Mercy.

Sarah Ayers (1-3) and Jackie Beavers (1-2) picked up the wins for Tennessee.

The Lady Vols will next take part in the Mardi Gras Classic in Monroe,

La., on Friday.

Women's Tennis Suffers Narrow Defeat

The Tennessee women's tennis team dropped a narrow 5-4 decision to Notre

Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Sunday.

Margie Lepsi, Erin Lowrey and Vinny Seiverling each picked up singles

victories for the Lady Vols.

Meanwhile, Manisha Malhotra and Lepsi defeated Tiffany Gates and Jennifer

Hall in doubles competition.

Roy a Winner at SECs

Tennessee freshman diver Shannon Roy, who entered school at the beginning

of the spring semester, scored 583.60 points in winning the Southeastern

Conference three-meter diving championship Sunday in Gainesville, Fla.,

as he defeated defending champion Brent Roberts of Alabama by more than

37 points.

Roy's score ranks second in Vol history to Evan Stewart, who won Tennessee's

last three-meter championship in 1996.

"I am very pleased with my performance out there today," Roy

said. "I did not miss a dive and that is what I needed to do with this

tough, experienced competition."

Gabi Chereches, another Vol freshman, finished fourth with a score of

522 in the finals while Chip Chiapetta, a junior, scored 485.65 to finish

in seventh seventh place and give Tennessee head diving coach Dave Parrington

three athletes among the top eight.

The SEC Diving Championships conclude today with the platform diving

event. The SEC Swimming Championships begin on Wednesday.

Copyright © 1998, The Daily Beacon. All rights reserved.