The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

UT edges LSU for spot in semifinals

2764 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Sean Taylor

BATON ROUGE, La. -- No. 5 seed Tennessee rallied to a 7-5 win over tournament host and No. 4 seed LSU in the second round of the SEC Softball Tournament. Tennessee scored three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings to secure the win in a back-and-forth game that saw three lead changes. Six of Tennessee's seven runs were scored with two outs.

LSU got on the board first when Bianka Bell knocked a double to left field to score A.J. Andrews in the bottom of the first. LSU scored again in the second when Emily Griggs singled to bring home Constance Quinn.

Tennessee responded with a big fourth inning, starting with a solo home run from Meghan Gregg, who lifted the Vols to a walk-off win over Kentucky on Wednesday night. Taylor Koening then claimed the lead for the Vols with a two-run homer to center field.

LSU answered in the fifth with its own explosive inning, as Bianka Bell hit a home run deep to left field to tie the game. The Tigers took the lead again with a single up the middle from Constance Quinn to score Taylor Lockwood. A single by Sydney Bourg added to LSU's lead.

Tennessee's Rainey Gaffin tied the game again with a 2-RBI double to right center in the top of the sixth. Shaliyah Geathers delivered an RBI double to secure the lead for the Vols. Megan Geer added a final run to Tennessee's tally with a solo home run in the top of the seventh.

Gretchen Aucoin started in the circle for Tennessee with Erin Gabriel, Cheyanne Tarango and Rainey Gaffin also coming in.

Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly said of pitching by committee, "They're used to us running them in and out of there and sometimes we re-enter the starter. I have no clue [who is pitching tomorrow]. They're all going to throw. The nice thing about pitching by committee is that nobody is tired. Nobody threw 150 pitches tonight so they are all fresh and ready to go."

Tennessee improved to 41-13 while LSU fell to 44-11. Tennessee has won 12 of its last 14 games.

The Lady Vols face top-seeded Florida in the semifinals on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT / 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.