GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 12-seeded Lady Vols were edged in extras by No. 5 Florida, 2-1, in Sunday’s Game 3 of the Gainesville Super Regional, coming up just one win shy of advancing to the program’s eighth Women’s College World Series.
In the pitcher’s duel, freshman Ashley Rogers dealt 7.2 innings, allowing just two runs in the loss. The righty gave up six hits while dealing eight strikeouts.
Florida jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, using two hits and a walk. The Gators’ Sophia Reynoso singled to center field to drive the run in before Rogers notched her second strikeout of the game to leave two runners stranded.
Threatening in the third, the Lady Vols put runners in scoring position. Parsons led off with a single to the hot corner and advanced to third on two wild pitches, including one that allowed Leach to reach on a walk and then advance to second. However, the inning ended with a fly out to center.
Tennessee reached base again in the fifth and sixth innings off singles by Parsons and Leach. In both frames, UF escaped unscathed as it was able to hold UT scoreless.
Down to their last three outs in the seventh, the Lady Vols needed a run to tie it and got just that off the bat of Bearden. The outfielder blasted the first pitch of the at-bat over the right-center field wall to keep Tennessee in the game. It was her team-leading 15th long ball of the season.
Rogers and the defense then retired Florida in order in the bottom of the frame to send the game to extras for the second straight day of the Super Regional.
In the eighth, the Orange and White were kept quiet at the plate, giving the Gators the chance to walk-off.
With one out, UF’s Amanda Lorenz doubled and moved to third on a groundout to Ashley Morgan. Jaimie Hoover then supplied the necessary hit, a single to left-center field, that allowed the Gators to walk it off.
Tennessee finishes the 2019 season with a 43-17 record that featured 14 SEC wins en route to a second-place finish in the conference. The Lady Vols will return 14 players from the 2019 squad next year.