With temperatures hovering in the 30s and wind chills sitting in the 20s on Tuesday evening at the Lee Softball Stadium, junior catcher Tiffany Huff posted a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs, while junior second baseman Erinn Webb homered and knocked in a pair of runs, leading No. 7 Tennessee (18-1) to its 16th consecutive win in a 7-1 defeat of Boston College.
“Tiffany Huff is a special player,” Lady Vols co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “She had a fantastic game, going 4-for-4 while driving in four runs. She’s doing a great job offensively and behind the plate in mentoring our young pitchers.”
Huff raised her batting average to .500 overall (27 of 54) and improved her SEC-best RBI total to 40 through 19 contests.
Senior left fielder Lillian Hammond recorded a 2-for-2 effort at the dish with two runs scored, as her average climbed to .468 for the year.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Cat Hosfield took a no-hitter into the fifth before eventually settling for a complete-game, three-hitter with six strikeouts while tallying her league-best 13th win.
“We were also very impressed with the poise of Cat Hosfield in one of the coldest games we’ve played in during our tenure at Tennessee. She ‘weathered’ the weather, so to speak, with an awesome effort,” Weekly said.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Hammond launched an offering from BC pitcher Taylor Peyton to the wall in deep left center for a double. Huff followed with a blast that traveled straight into a stiff breeze blowing in from right. Lizzy Ploen turned and watched the ball sail to the wall, eventually hitting about halfway up the fence for a run-scoring triple and a 1-0 UT lead.
The Lady Vols’ advantage quickly became two scores starting the bottom half of the second, as Webb launched a 3-2 pitch from Peyton the opposite way over the left field wall to record her second homer of the year.
The consecutive retired batter streak for Hosfield grew to 12 through the top of the fourth as Boston College’s Irene Delagrammaticas bounced out to short, Amy Tunstall to third and Dani Weir to second, ending a quick one-two-three frame.
Hosfield continued to cruise into the fifth before finally allowing a one-out single to Boston College’s Gemma Ypparilla, breaking up a potential no-hit bid. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Destito and a groundout from center fielder Angela Pandolfo left the runner stranded as the inning came to a close with UT in front, 5-0.
The UT offense added to its advantage in the bottom of the sixth as Hammond started the inning off by beating out an infield single to second base. Huff stepped into the box and hammered a run-scoring double to right center as the gap grew to 6-0. Two batters later, with Huff occupying third, Webb drove a two-bagger over the head of Pandolfo in center and off the wall, plating the runner for a 7-0 advantage.
Following Peyton’s two-out double in the top of the seventh, a Big Orange outfield fielding miscue on a single from BC’s Ypparilla broke up Hosfield’s shutout bid via an unearned run. The Eagles couldn’t sustain the rally, however, as Hosfield got Destito to pop out to Webb at second to secure the triumph.
No. 7 Tennessee next ventures to “The Preview,” presented by Worth in Norman, Okla., and at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. During the event, UT will battle both No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 16 Northwestern twice.