Freshman Monica Abbott fired a one-hitter on the way to her ninth solo shutout of the campaign as 14th-ranked Tennessee upended Georgia Southern, 7-0, on Tuesday afternoon.
The rookie (20-4) exceeded double-digits in strikeouts for the 17th time with 12 Ks and became the fastest Lady Vol to collect 20 victories. It was the left-hander's fourth one-hit outing and the shutout enabled Abbott to match the single-season school-record held by Jackie Beavers (1996) and Buffy Walker (1997).
UT (23-8) halted a three-game losing streak and dropped the Eagles to 14-8.
"We started off slowly but I am proud of the way we picked up our offense in the fifth and sixth innings to finish the game strong," co-coach Karen Weekly said. "It was nice to see Brittany (Bessho) and Mandie (Fishback) attack the ball with confidence.
"Monica had a stellar outing and kept their hitters off balance."
Abbott's bid for her fourth no-hitter of the season was thwarted on a two-out single in the sixth by sophomore Shanita Black. The Lady Vols would erupt for four runs in the bottom of the frame to put the game out of reach.
After senior Angela Brewer reached on an error, Bessho blasted her second double of the afternoon to score freshman pinch runner India Chiles.
The hosts ripped 11 hits off the Georgia Southern pitching duo, as the quartet of Bessho (2-for-3, RBI), Fishback (2-for-3, two runs, two RBI), Rhinehart (2-for-4, one run) and Schutzler (2-for-3, run) did most of the damage. Abbott lowered her earned run average to 0.83 with her 20th complete game and increased her SEC-leading strikeout total to 285 in 151.1 innings. Moone (6-3) surrendered eight hits and six runs (five earned) over 5.1 frames, while Urena gave up three hits and a run in two-thirds of an inning.
Tennessee will journey to Starkville for a three-game series against Mississippi State (18-13, 2-7 SEC) this weekend. The clubs will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. before a single game on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.