ST. GEORGE, Utah — The No. 12 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (4-1) was pushed beyond regulation to 10 innings but prevailed with an important win over a strong power-hitting BYU (3-2) squad in a 4-0 triumph to close out its participation at the BYU Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.
For the weekend, UT posted a .372 team batting average with eight doubles, a triple, nine stolen bases and seven home runs while outscoring its five opponents by a combined 42-5 total.
The Lady Vols pitching staff limited opponents to a .196 batting average with freshman right hander Cat Hosfield leading the way with a 3-1 record, a 0.64 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 22.0 innings of work.
Hosfield and sophomore hurler Ashton Ward combined on a no-hitter of San Jose State, while senior Danielle Pieroni allowed just one hit in 3.2 total frames of work.
Junior catcher Tiffany Huff guided the way offensively by hitting .647 (11-of-17) overall with two doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs, while slugging 1.118. Senior left fielder Lillian Hammond posted a .600 average (9-of-15) with seven runs scored and four stolen bases.
Versus BYU, Shelby Burchell came through with the big hit, a double to the wall in right in the top of the 10th inning that eventually helped three runs score as part of a 2-for-5 effort.
“This game was a real character builder for our young team,” Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “The weather was less than favorable, and BYU had a great home crowd at the facility. We had runners in scoring position on numerous occasions but couldn’t seem to get the big hit. BYU threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, but Cat Hosfield and our defense were able to hold them.”
After a pitcher’s duel during regulation, Tennessee and BYU went into extra innings.
With one down in the bottom of the eighth, BYU’s Coreen Lopez drove a shot to right center and to the wall for a double. Tennessee made the decision to intentionally walk Stephanie Hopkins with one out to set up the potential force play at three bases. That brought Kristen Delahoussaye to the dish, who grounded out. The Lady Vols avoided the threat as Hosfield got the last out on a BYU strikeout.
An error to lead-off the top of the ninth on a grounder off the bat of Fryer granted the Lady Vols a runner to play with. A sacrifice bunt and an attempt for a bunt base hit advanced the runner to third with two down. Kelly Grieve stepped up and slapped a short fly ball to end the inning.
BYU’s Jessica Purcell delivered a two out double down into the left field corner in the bottom of the ninth, forcing Tennessee to intentionally walk Caschjen Davis to again set up the force outs. Amanda Vance hit a ball sharply down to third, but Spigner again made the play to retire the side.
Hammond dropped a bunt out in front of the plate and beat the throw down to first for a single starting the 10th. Christie Zinanti’s throw to the bag was wide for BYU’s third miscue of the contest, allowing the runner to advance into scoring position with no outs. The Cougars intentionally walked Tiffany Huff to bring Spigner to the plate. The Lady Vols’ third baseman followed with a clean single to right but not deep enough to score Hammond all the way from second. With the bags packed full of Lady Vols, Webb laced a groundball to third to bring Hammonds in to score the winning run.
The Lady Vols eventually tacked on three more insurance runs to take some of the pressure off.
The Lady Cougars could not capitalize in the bottom half of the inning, giving Tennessee the 4-0 win.
Tennessee will travel to Florida this weekend to take on North Florida, Texas-Arlington, Central Florida, Kansas and finally ending the weekend with Villanova.