KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The No. 11/12-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols dropped an extra-inning heartbreaker to Texas A&M on Sunday to close out the regular season.
UT won the first two games of the weekend to claim the series and sits at 14-10 in conference play entering the SEC Tournament next week. After a three-way tiebreaker between the Lady Vols, Kentucky and LSU, Tennessee came out as the No. 2 seed and will play the winner of Game 3 (No. 7 seeded Missouri vs. No. 10 seeded Auburn) at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 9.
Against Texas A&M, the Orange and White were led by Cailin Hannon who went 2-for-4 while five other Lady Vols tallied a hit each. Aubrey Leach, Treasuary Poindexter, Kaili Phillips and Kaitlin Parsons all scored during the contest.
Junior Caylan Arnold earned the start and threw nine innings, allowing four runs on five hits in the loss. She retired eight of her 35 batters faced via strikeout. Ashley Rogers pitched one inning in relief, giving up two runs on two hits.
In the opening frame, the Lady Vols took a 1-0 lead. Leach led off with a triple and then scored on Chelsea Seggern’s sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher before the inning ended with a strikeout.
Tennessee struck again in the second, scoring two runs on one hit and two errors. Phillips was hit by a pitch to lead off before safely advancing to second and third on a throwing error by Texas A&M’s third baseman that also allowed Parsons to reach. Phillips then scored on a failed caught stealing attempt by the Aggies’ catcher that resulted in the ball being thrown into center field. Taking advantage of the bad throw, Parsons took third and proceeded to score on Amanda Ayala’s sacrifice fly to center, making it a 3-0 game.
The teams traded three scoreless innings before Texas A&M took a one-run lead in the top of the sixth. Three consecutive hits plated one run before a three-run homer by Baylee Klingler gave the Aggies a 4-3 advantage.
Short-lived, Seggern singled back to the pitcher in the bottom of the inning and Poindexter was brought in to pinch run. A wild pitch allowed the Covington, Tenn., native to move to second before she scored on Haley Bearden’s single to center field to tie the game up at 4-4.
The tie would stand until the top of the 10th when Texas A&M scored two runs on two hits. Kayla Garcia singled with two outs before Payton McBride hit a dinger over the right-field wall to take a 6-4 lead.
Tennessee threatened in the bottom of the frame as Phillips singled to left field with two outs, but she was left stranded when a pop-up to second ended the game.
ON DECK: The Lady Vols will play in the 2:30 p.m. ET game on Thursday in the SEC Tournament. They will play the winner of Game 3 and the contest will be aired on SEC Network.