KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 5 Tennessee scored two runs in the first inning and two more in the second to defeat South Alabama 4-0 on the second day of the Tennessee Invitational.
With the win, the Lady Vols (19-1) improved to 3-0 in the tournament round robin and claimed the top seed going into the semifinals.
Matty Moss (9-1) went 4.1 innings with five strikeouts to earn the winning decision. Caylan Arnold shut down the Jaguars (9-10) with 2.2 innings of work in relief.
The Lady Vols jumped out of the gate with two runs in the first inning. After Aubrey Leach and Jenna Holcomb started things off with back-to-back singles, Meghan Gregg hit a base knock of her own to score Leach and give UT a 1-0 lead with zero outs. Holcomb was later brought from third home by way of a Chelsea Seggern groundout.
In the second inning, leadoff hitter Ashley Morgan singled to right field to get a runner on base. After pinch runner Brooke Langston stole second, a double from Leach to left center scored Langston and increased the Tennessee advantage to three runs. The following batter, Holcomb, hit a single that advanced Leach to third, and Leach was able to run home on a throwing error as the Lady Vols added a fourth run on the scoreboard.
Moss and Arnold took over the rest of the way, completing UT's fifth shutout of the season. Southern Alabama was held to six hits on the day.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The fifth-ranked Lady Vols softball team completed Day 2 of the Tennessee Invitational with a 6-3 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
Tennessee (20-1) will take on the winner of the South Alabama vs. Toledo game in the tournament final on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. UT had to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the first inning to remain unbeaten on the weekend.
Caylan Arnold had another strong performance in the circle to improve to 9-0. The sophomore went a full seven innings and tied her career-high with 13 strikeouts, while allowing five hits and two earned runs.
Charleston Southern (13-7) had a hot start offensively and took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. After Jade Gandara singled up the middle, Mallory Kasinger reached on a fielding error to bring up Sarah Brown with two runners on. On a 2-0 count, Brown belted a three-run home run over the left center field fence to put Tennessee in an early hole.
UT responded quickly with a run in the bottom half of the first. Meghan Gregg drew a one-out walk to load the bases, leading to an Ashley Morgan ground ball that scored Jenna Holcomb on a fielder's choice as the Lady Vols cut it to 3-1.
Tennessee knotted the score with two more runs in the second. Freshman Amanda Ayala got things going with a double down the right field line, and after CJ McClain walked, an Aubrey Leach single loaded the bases with one out. The following batter, Jenna Holcomb, knocked a single up the middle to bring home Ayala from third. With the bases still loaded, McClain was able to score the tying run via Gregg hitting into a fielder's choice.
After one and a half innings of scoreless softball, Tennessee took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Holcomb and Gregg led the frame off with a pair of singles with zero outs. Chelsea Seggern then added to her team-leading RBI total with a bases-clearing triple that made it 5-3. Morgan then kept the party going with a single of her own to bring in Seggern and increase the lead to three.
Arnold would shut it down the rest of the way, yielding just one hit in the final three innings. Ayala had a strong showing at the plate on Saturday, going 4-for-4 with a run.