The Lady Vols softball team won their first three games, including a victory

over national power UCLA, in the Fresno State Classic before dropping their

final game to the hosts.

Tennessee (11-11) kicked off the round-robin tournament with a 2-0 blanking

of No. 22 Kansas on Friday.

Sarah Ayers pitched a seven-hit shutout to even her record at 7-7.

Shortstop Lisa Warren was 2-for-4 for Tennessee and second baseman Kelli

Fitzgerald went a perfect 2-for-2.

A few hours later, the Lady Vols needed extra innings to dispatch UCLA,

3-2.

Cherrae Rushton's fielder's choice in the top of the eighth provided

the winning run for Tennessee.

Buffy Walker pitched eight innings for the Lady Vols, holding the Bruins

to three hits with six strikeouts.

On Saturday, the Lady Vols improved to 3-0 in the tournament with a 4-2

win over Indiana.

Sarah Ayers once again went the distance for Tennessee, giving up two

runs on nine hits. She also struck out seven Hoosiers.

Carrie Swinford, Jodi Ramirez and Warren drove in the runs for the Lady

Vols, who overcame a 2-0 deficit to pick up the win.

Later on Saturday, the Lady Vols ran into a hot-hitting Fresno State

team and lost 11-6.

The No. 5 Bulldogs (6-2) racked up 14 hits and jumped out to a 9-0 lead

on the Lady Vols.

For Tennessee, Kelli Fitzgerald led the way with two hits and two runs

Vols Complete Final Indoor Meet

Tennessee's men's track and field program concluded its regular season

on Saturday by sending athletes to compete in Butler University's Last Chance

meet in Indianapolis, Ind. Several Vols took advantage of the final pre-NCAA

invitational at the RCA Dome in preparation for next week's NCAA Championships.

The top performer for the Vols on Saturday was junior Doug Ellington,

who placed third in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:04.59. The mark

came in Ellington's first attempt in the event during the 1998 season and

stands as a provisional time in relation to the national championships.

The Vols next action will be seen by those athletes who qualified for

Lady Vols Come up Short

Eight members of the Lady Vol track and field team made the trip to the

RCA Dome Saturday in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships

next weekend.

Despite personal-best performances from three members of the traveling

party at the O'Brien Automotive Indoor Classic, Tennessee failed to add

anyone to the list of automatic qualifiers for the national championships

March 13 and 14.

Personal records were registered by three field event athletes, as Tracy

Carrington and Beth Gehring cleared 11-4 1/4 to finish first and fourth,

respectively, in the pole vault. Michelle Elfervig earned second-place honors

in the high jump by tying her career-best height of 5-8 1/2.

The 4x400 relay shaved almost two seconds off of its previous best time

to place sixth at 3:40.21. That clocking, however, did not earn the unit

Tennis Team Downs Mississippi State

Tennessee's No. 12 women's tennis team knocked off 58th-ranked Mississippi

State 5-1 Friday in SEC action.

The Lady Vols, who have now defeated MSU 11 straight times, improved

to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. State fell to 6-2 overall and 1-2 in

Lady Vols Qualify Five for NCAAs

The 14th-ranked Tennessee women's swimming team advanced five

swimmers to the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis,

Minn., March 19-21.

Lady Vols seniors Emily Plummer and Fabiola Molina swam automatic cuts

at the conference meet to pre-qualify for nationals. Plummer swam an automatic

time in the 100-yard backstroke and will likely swim in the 50-and 100-yard

freestyle and backstroke events. Molina's possible events are the 100-and

200-yard backstroke, the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual

medley.

Senior Tori DeSilvia qualified for her third consecutive NCAA meet. Juniors

Sarah Nichols and Jill Sprecher round out Tennessee's five. Nichols will

be making her third straight appearance, while Sprecher will be swimming

in her first NCAA championship.

The Tennessee diving team will travel to the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships

in Athens, Ga., March 13-14. At the conclusion of zones, the field for diving

Diamond Vols Lose

No. 8 Mississippi State rallied from a 4-0 deficit Friday night to defeat

the No. 9 Vols 15-7 in Starkville, Miss, in both teams' SEC opener.

Luke Hudson suffered his first loss of the season after being tagged

for 10 hits and nine runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Saturday's game was rained out, so the teams played a doubleheader Sunday.

Results were not available at press time.

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