Despite a sterling pitching performance by senior right-hander Jackie

Beavers, the Lady Vol offense could not scratch across any runs against

Virginia Tech in its final game of pool play at the State-Line Classic on

Sunday afternoon in Bristol, Tenn. The Hokies would manage a single run in

the third inning and it would prove to be the only score of the 1-0

contest.

In taking her second consecutive tough-luck loss, Beavers (4-4) struck out

a season-high seven batters, while allowing just three hits to Tech.

Yesterday, five Lady Vol errors led to four unearned runs for Notre Dame,

as the Warren, Ohio, native was on the short end of a 4-0 count. The

strikeout total was Beavers' most since her freshman campaign, when she

fanned eight in a 19-2 shellacking of North Carolina A&T on April 13,

1996.

Tennessee would manage seven hits off Hokie sophomore pitcher Clarisa

Crowell, but the Lady Vols would strand nine runners in falling to 9-7

overall and 1-2 in this weekend's tournament. Meanwhile, the Hokies

advanced to the title game against the Fighting Irish that was played at

two o'clock.

The Lady Vols seemed to be in position to open the scoring in the second

inning on a two-out single to right field by junior second baseman Annie

Fletcher. With senior Nadia Cameron aboard after reaching via catcher's

interference and then swiping second base, she attempted to come home on

Fletcher's hit. However, a relay throw from VT right fielder Ali Verbage to

catcher Bethany Bird cut down Cameron at the plate.

After a pair of strikeouts in the third by Beavers, Hokie leadoff batter

Bronwyn Blair poked a single to left field and stole second. With a 2-1

count, Tech third baseman Kara Krumhardt slapped a single up the middle to

plate Blair with what would turn out to be the lone run of the

afternoon.

Tennessee would threaten again in the fifth stanza when senior April

Phillips would leg out an infield hit with two down. The next batter,

senior third baseman Amanda Venable, would drive a 1-1 offering by Crowell

to deep center field but Blair made an outstanding catch at the fence for

the final out.

In the decisive seventh inning, a one-out single to right center field by

junior Holly Ellison moved classmate Melissa Radley over to third and the

Lady Vols appeared to have a golden opportunity to at least tie the game.

Crowell would buckle down to strike out sophomore pinch hitter Maria Torres

and then retire Venable on a ground out to end the game.

The Lady Vols would place a trio of players on the All-Tournament team.

Ellison was 2-for-3 against Virginia Tech and batted .600 (6-for-10) on the

weekend in extending her hitting streak to nine games. Beavers surrendered

just one earned run in 14.0 innings but had only two defeats to show for

her efforts, while Venable hit .500 (4-for-8) with a pair of runs batted

in.

After 16 road games, the Lady Vols will open its home schedule at Tyson

Park next weekend by hosting the annual Lady Vol Spring Invitational. Other

teams participating in the three-day event include East Carolina, Eastern

Kentucky and Kansas. UT will entertain Kansas at 5 p.m. on Friday and then

meet East Carolina at 7 p.m.