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Vols advance, move past Gamecocks

2391 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. --When Tennessee junior Megan Geer hits home runs, the Volunteers win. She hit her 10th home run of the season in the first inning, leading No. 3 seed Volunteers past No. 11 seed South Carolina 5-1. Tennessee is now 10-0 when Geer hits a home run.

"I was really just trying to keep it simple and not think too much and just take it one pitch at a time to try and get something going for our team," said Geer.

The Volunteers scored five runs off five hits with no errors. Tennessee is trending in the right direction at the right time, having won 14 of their last 17 games.

South Carolina's lone run came off a Kamryn Watts RBI single in the top of the 2nd inning. Tennessee pitchers Erin Gabriel and Matty Moss held the Gamecock batters to just two hits for the rest of the game, retiring the final 11 batters in order.

"They're just money, you know?" said head coach Karen Weekly. "And they're kids that just want to be in the box with the game on the line and that's what I love about them."

Moss shined in her post-season debut, taking the circle in the 5th inning and retiring all nine batters to close the game.

"I thought she was fantastic. As the game went along we just thought how valuable it would be to get Matty Moss some innings here in this environment, in this arena, because we know what is in store for us next week and we're going to need her," Weekly said.

Tennessee will have to figure out if centerfielder Rainey Gaffin will return to tournament competition. Gaffin left the game in the bottom of the second inning after being struck on the left wrist by a Jessica Elliott pitch.

A Shaliyah Geathers single added two more runs to put the Vols up 4-1 in the bottom of the second. Savannah Huffstetle scored from third followed by a run scored by obstruction when South Carolina catcher Jordan Bizzell was called for blocking the plate as Gretchen Aucoin attempted to score.

Geathers scored Tennessee's final run from third off a Meghan Gregg RBI in the bottom of the 6th inning.

UP NEXT: No. 3 seed Tennessee plays in the Semifinal round tomorrow against the winner of No. 2 seed Kentucky and No. 7 seed LSU. The game will be played at 3 pm ET / 2 pm CT on ESPNU.