COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- No. 9 Tennessee scored early and often for an 8-6 victory in the rubber game against No. 6 Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon at the Aggie Softball Complex.
Meghan Gregg hit a grand slam in the second inning and finished the day with five RBIs to move into fourth on UT's single-season RBI list with 71. Brooke Vines also had a good day at the plate with a hit and two RBIs as the Vols finished with nine hits and scored eight runs for the second consecutive game.
Vines got the Volunteers off to a good start with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. Jenna Holcomb displayed some heads up baserunning to score from second on the play after walking earlier in the inning.
Tennessee's lead didn't last long however, as Tori Vidales lined a two-run homer over the left-field fence in the bottom of the first to give the Aggies a 2-1 lead. Vidales hit a solo home run in the first inning of Saturday's game as well.
The Vols (44-9, 16-7 SEC) didn't waste any time retaking the lead in the second, as Gregg hammered a 2-1 pitch over the wall in center field for a grand slam, spotting UT a 5-2 lead. It was Gregg's third grand slam of the season and the sixth overall for the Big Orange this year.
Texas A&M (42-9, 16-7 SEC) cut into the lead in the bottom of the third with another home run from Vidales, her second of the game and third of the series. The solo shot was her 13th of the season and lowered the deficit to two heading into the fourth inning.
Chelsea Seggern got that run back for the Vols in the fifth with an RBI double to the gap in right center, driving in Katie Weimer all the way from first base. The Orange and White added another pair of runs in the sixth to increase their lead to five. Gregg drove in her fifth run of the game with a single to right field before Vines brought in Holcomb with a sacrifice fly to make it 8-3.
The Aggies didn't go down quietly in the seventh, making things interesting with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Vidales smashed her third home run of the game, a three-run shot, to make it 8-6 before Moss got Sartain to ground out to end the game.
Moss got the win to improve to 23-2 on the year despite giving up five runs. Caylan Arnold tossed three innings of relief, allowing one run while striking out three Aggies.
Tennessee begins postseason play in the SEC Tournament on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Vols will be the No. 3 seed and play the winner of the 6/11 matchup, which will take place on Wednesday.
GREGG MOVES UP RECORD LISTS:
With her grand slam in the second inning, junior Meghan Gregg moved into sole possession of fourth on UT's single-season RBIs list. She added another RBI in the sixth to up her season total to 71. She needs just three more to pass Tonya Callahan (73 in 2006) for third and seven more to move into first place, overtaking Kristi Durant (77 in 2005) and Bridget Jackson (77 in 1996).
Gregg also moved into a tie for first on Tennessee's career grand slams list with four, tying current volunteer assistant coach Madison Shipman. Her three grand slams this season are also the most by one player in a single season in program history.
With the regular season over, the Vols will begin postseason play this week at the SEC Tournament, which will be hosted at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium in Knoxville. With today's win, Tennessee locked up the No. 3 seed for the second straight season and will have a first-round bye before opening its postseason on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the 6/11 matchup.