MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Tennessee started off the Kickin’ Chicken Classic with hot bats, scoring five runs on three hits in the first inning en rout to a 13-2 victory over UIC to open the 2019 season.
Senior infielder Chelsea Seggern led the offensive onslaught, going 4-for-4 with four RBIs and was one of three Lady Vols to score in three straight innings. Tennessee batted around the order in the first three innings.
Earning her first start and win, freshman pitcher Ashley Rogers took a no-hitter into the fourth and went on to allow just two runs on two hits while striking out a career-high nine batters in her first complete game.
Aubrey Leach and Jenna Holcomb drew back-to-back walks to start the first inning, scoring on Seggern’s first double of the season. Amanda Ayala then doubled down the left-field line to bring her home. Two at-bats later, Phillips advanced to first on a hit-by-pitch and both runners advanced to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch. Morgan’s groundout to second base scored Ayala and Phillips came around to score on Savannah Huffstetler’s lone hit of the game.
In the second, Tennessee logged three consecutive hits to lead off the frame. Leach got things going with a single to center and then stole second before Holcomb safely put down a bunt toward third base, bringing up Seggern. The Texas native hit a bases-clearing single to center and then advanced to second on the throw. The Lady Vols proceeded to load the bases and Seggern scored when Huffstetler wore a pitch between the numbers.
The Lady Vols posted their second five-run inning of the night in the third, plating five runs on four hits and two walks. Leach led off again with a single to short which was followed by two walks. Tianna Batts then singled to center, driving in her second- and third-career RBIs. In the next at-bat and with runners on first and second, Ally Shipman sent her first-career home run, a three-RBI knock, over the left field wall.
UIC plated their two runs in the top of the fourth. A single to center and a walk put runners on base, setting up a sacrifice bunt and the eventual two-RBI single by Tara McElligott.
Tennessee was held scoreless in the bottom of the frame before recording the three outs in the top of the fifth for the 13-2 final.
- CALL IT A STREAK: With Friday’s victory, Tennessee has now beaten opponents in nine straight season openers for an all-time record of 17-7. The Lady Vols are 34-3 all-time in season opening tournaments since 2012 and 69-12-1 under the Weeklys.
- ROLLING IN THE RBIs: Chelsea Seggern’s four RBI’s are the most in a game by a Lady Vol since she recorded four in the second game at Alabama on April 21, 2018.