Senior pitcher Jackie Beavers allowed just three hits to East Carolina in
the championship game of the Lady Vol Spring Invitational on Sunday
afternoon, but the Pirates took advantage of three UT errors and 11 runners
left on base to secure a 3-2 decision.
With the win, ECU delivered a form of payback for a 7-0 loss suffered at
the hands of Tennessee on Friday night. The Pirates managed a 3-1 mark on
the weekend; the Lady Vols were 2-2 after dropping the game. Kansas was 3-1
and Eastern Kentucky was 0-4.
Reliever Laurie Davidson of East Carolina garnered Most Valuable Pitcher
accolades after coming on in relief of starter Lisa Paganini in the final
game. The righty hurled four innings, striking out five and giving up four
hits and one run to improve to 3-0.
Most Valuable Player accolades went to Pirates' Angela Manzo, who hit .385
with two doubles and a couple of runs.
Tennessee opened the scoring in the bottom of the third on a two-out single
into shallow center field by sophomore Adrianna Wilson that plated junior
Holly Ellison. Ellison drew a one-out walk from Paganini and had moved over
to second on a passed ball. UT junior Maura Mollet line a flare into right
field to move Ellison to third before junior Janette Koshell made the
second out on a fly ball into right field.
Beavers did not allow a hit for the first 3 2/3 frames before Manzo dropped
a single just over third base with two down. Shortstop Eva Herron then
followed with a double to deep center field that allowed Manzo to come
around from first base for the tying run.
The Lady Vols would squander a chance to move ahead in the fifth when they
had the bases loaded after a single by Mollet, a double by Koshell and a
walk to Wilson. With one out, Davidson struck out Amanda Venable and then
induced a ground out by junior Nadia Cameron.
Seizing the momentum from keeping UT off the board, East Carolina would
strike for two runs on one hit and two damaging Lady Vol miscues in the
sixth to assume a 3-1 lead. Keisha Shepperson laced a triple down the right
field line with one out and then Amekia McDougald drew a walk to give the
Pirates runners on the corners. After McDougald swiped second base, Manzo
poked an infield grounder that was booted for an error, allowing Shepperson
to score ECU's second run. The Pirates took a two-run advantage when UT
dropped an infield fly ball that would have been the last out of the
Tennessee narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the home half of the sixth on an RBI
double to the center field fence by Ellison that enabled Melissa Radley to
score all the way from first base. However, the Pirates managed to leave
Ellison stranded at second after a UT groundout.
The Lady Vols mounted one final comeback in the decisive seventh, gaining
runners at first and second with two out. Davidson then set down Tennessee
second baseman Annie Fletcher on strikes to end the game and preserve the
Pirates' victory. Beavers was the hard-luck loser after striking out seven
batters and giving up just three hits. The righty is now 4-6 with a 2.13
earned run average.
The Pirates improved to 19-2 overall with the win, while UT slipped to 11-9
in its first weekend of action at Tyson Park. Tennessee will open its
28-game Southeastern Conference schedule next Friday night at 6 p.m. with a
twin bill against Georgia.
Pirates steal win from UT in softball
Published: Tue Mar 14, 2000 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 02:11 p.m.