KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 6/5 Lady Vols logged seven runs in the first inning en route to a 14-2 run-rule of BYU in five innings to open up the annual Tennessee Invitational at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on Thursday.
Senior ace Matty Moss notched the win for the Lady Vols (20-3) in the circle, throwing five strikeouts while allowing two hits and no runs in 3.0 innings of work. Moss improved her record to 6-1 on the year and has now given up less than three hits in six of her last seven outings of two innings or more. The Greenville, S.C., native came on in relief of Ashley Rogers to start the third inning.
At the plate, Aubrey Leach (2-for-2) and Kaili Phillips (1-for-3) led Tennessee with three RBIs apiece and Hailey Bearden chipped in two of her own. Phillips and Ashley Morgan knocked home runs in the outing while Tennessee recorded a .320 batting average as a team.
The Lady Vols got on the scoreboard in no time to kick off the first inning of play, as five errors, four unearned runs and just three hits gave Tennessee a 7-0 lead. Leach and Bearden combined for three RBIs and the Lady Vols cycled through 12 batters in the frame.
In the second inning, Tennessee’s lead was trimmed by the Cougars (10-12), who answered with a pair of RBI singles to cut the Lady Vols’ lead to five runs.
Morgan responded in the following half inning with a solo shot to right-center field to give UT an 8-2 advantage going into the third frame.
To start the inning, Cailin Hannon reached first base via fielder’s choice, as Leach was walked to give the Lady Vols two runners on. Phillips then blasted a home run off the scoreboard in left-center field to score Hannon and Leach, extending the Tennessee lead to 11-2.
After holding BYU to two straight scoreless innings, the Lady Vols poured on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. A pair of walks and a fielder’s choice put two Tennessee players in scoring position, while Leach drove two runs in with a double off the left-field wall. To finish out the inning, a Tianna Batts RBI-single brought Leach home to further the Lady Vols’ lead to 14-2.
Moss closed out the game for Tennessee in the top of the fifth with a 1-2-3 inning to secure the run-rule win.
FAST START: The Lady Vols’ seven-run outburst in the first inning was the most runs scored in an opening inning this season for Tennessee. It also tied their second-highest scoring inning of the season.
ON DECK: The Lady Vols will get back to action in the Tennessee Invitational with a matchup against No. 11/13 Texas (22-5) at 5:30 p.m. ET tomorrow. The game will be broadcast via SEC Network+ on the WatchESPN app and the live radio call can be heard on UTSports.com, the UT Gameday App or AM 990.