CLEARWATER, Fla. - The No.6-ranked Tennessee softball team blanked #24 Notre Dame, 8-0, in five innings on Friday to open the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational and improve to 6-0 on the season.
Four Lady Vols recorded multiple hits with Aubrey Leach, Chelsea Seggern and Madison Pacini also recording multiple RBIs. Leach led the squad with three hits, three scored runs and two RBIs.
In the circle, Ashley Rogers threw 2.0 innings to start the game before Matty Moss entered in relief to record the win. The senior right-hander dealt 3.0 shutout innings, throwing five strikeouts while not allowing hit.
Notre Dame threatened in the first inning, loading the bases with two outs before Rogers fired her first strikeout of the night to end the threat.
In the bottom of the frame, UT jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Leach, who led off with a single, reached home on an Ashley Morgan knock to right.
The Lady Vols then scratched three across in the second to further their advantage to 4-0. Pacini led the frame off with a single to left before Aubrey Leach hit her first long ball of the season over the right-field wall two at-bats later. Amanda Ayala then hit a stand-up double to left and scored on Seggern's triple to the same spot.
The Fighting Irish put runners in scoring position again in the third as they started the frame with back-to-back walks. With runners on first and second, Moss took over in the circle and was lights out, recording three straight outs.
In the fourth inning, Tennessee strung together five consecutive hits to further its lead, 6-0. Jenna Holcomb and Leach both reached on one-baggers and proceeded to score on Seggern's second hit of the night.
To cap the game, Pacini blasted a ball beyond the center-field wall to score Tennessee's final two runs and end the game in the fifth inning.
PACINI GOES YARD: Freshman Madison Pacini hit her first-career home run vs. #24 Notre Dame on Friday. The two-run blast to left-center field was Tennessee second long ball of the game and its seventh of the season.
MOSS DOES IT ALL: Senior pitcher Matty Moss threw back-to-back strikeouts to end Notre Dame's turn at the plate in the fourth inning. She then led off the bottom of the frame, her first-career at-bat, with her first-career hit.
CLEARWATER, FLA. - No. 6 Tennessee used timely hits and key performances from its pitching staff to down the Minnesota Gophers, 4-2, in Game 2 of the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational on Friday.
Five Lady Vols recorded hits while Amanda Ayala and Ally Shipman drove in UT's four runs.
Caylan Arnold earned the start and the win, while Matty Moss came in to pitch the fifth inning, fanning three batters. Arnold allowed two runs on three hits and tossed three strikeouts through six frames.
Minnesota opened up the game with a hit and went on to plate one run on a double steal. Both teams were held scoreless in the second.
Answering in the third, the Lady Vols scratched three runs across on Ayala's second homer of the season. Jenna Holcomb first reached base and advanced to second on a throwing error by Minnesota's second baseman before Aubrey Leach walked. Ayala then sent one sailing over the center-field wall to give Tennessee the 3-1 advantage.
The Gophers were limited to one run until the fifth, when Allie Arneson reached on a walk and scored on a single up the middle, trimming UT's lead to 3-2.
In the sixth frame, Tennessee plated an insurance run on Shipman's single to center. Chelsea Seggern had reached on an error and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ashley Morgan before scoring on the Valencia, Calif., native's hit.
With the victory, the Lady Vols improve to 7-0 on the season.
RBI LEADERS: Chelsea Seggern and Ally Shipman are tied for the team lead in runs driven in with 10 each. Amanda Ayala is close behind with nine after hitting the three-run homer vs. Minnesota on Friday.
NEXT UP: Tennessee plays #23/25 James Madison at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 16, on Field #9 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex. The game will be streamed on ESPN3/WatchESPN App with a live radio broadcast and stats available on UTSports.com.