ORLANDO, Fla. — No. 11 Tennessee (9-1) completed its stay at the UCF Early Bird Tournament in Orlando, Fla., with a perfect 5-0 record after rolling past Villanova, 9-4, on Sunday morning. Included in the successful run were triumphs over North Florida, UT-Arlington, UCF, No. 25 Kansas and the Wildcats.
The big shot of the game for Tennessee came off the bat of junior second baseman Erinn Webb. The Hemet, Calif., native tripled in three runs as part of a six run third inning while going 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored.
Sophomore center fielder Kelly Grieve wrapped up an impressive performance on the weekend with a 3-for-4 effort versus Villanova with three stolen bases, two runs scored and a RBI. During the UCF Early Bird Tourney, the Asheville, N.C., native hit .611 (11-of-18) overall with two doubles, six steals, and a half dozen runs scored. Junior catcher/first baseman Tiffany Huff added six more RBIs during the event to raise her team-best season total to 21.
Freshman slap-hitting shortstop Ashley Andrews tallied a .429 batting average (6-of-14) over the five-game stay with two steals, a triple and a RBI.
In all, Tennessee swiped seven bases against Villanova and were a perfect 14-for-14 on steals during the event.
Sophomore pitcher Ashton Ward improved to 3-0 on the season by firing 3.1 innings of relief, allowing just one hit while striking out three. Freshman Cat Hosfield started the game and permitted four earned runs on four hits in 3.2 total frames before re-entering the match-up in the seventh to pick up the first save of her collegiate career.
“This was another solid win for our team,” Lady Vol co-head coach Karen Weekly said. “The whole weekend was filled with good competition that put our young squad in high-pressure situations. That experience will only benefit us down the line as we head into league play and the postseason. We were fortunate to play as well as we did with two of our top three hitters struggling this weekend.”