CATHEDRAL CITY, Calf. -- No. 13 Tennessee's comeback attempt fell short on Saturday afternoon in a 4-2 loss to Texas at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
Junior shortstop Megan Gregg had the only RBI of the game for the Volunteers, cranking a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning. The homer was Gregg's fourth of the season and increased her team-leading RBI total to 23.
After a rough first inning from starter Caylan Arnold, sophomore Matty Moss was solid in relief, pitching six innings while allowing just one run and striking out seven Longhorns.
Arnold ran into trouble early after retiring the first two batters of the game. Reagan Hathaway out Texas (11-3) on the board with a solo home run before Mickenzi Krpec doubled and Bekah Alcozer walked to put two more runners on base. Another double by Jade Gortarez plated both runners and gave the Longhorns an early 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
Texas starter Tiarra Davis had it going early and carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Gregg broke it up with a leadoff homer to cut the deficit to two. Taylor Rowland and Abby Lockman kept the inning rolling with back-to-back one-out singles and the Vols tacked on another run thanks to an error by shortstop Devon Tunning to cut the Longhorns' lead to 3-2.
Tennessee (13-2) had a great chance to pull even in the top of the sixth after Aubrey Leach and Brooke Vines reached on infield singles, but Gregg and Scarlet McSwain were both retired to end the threat.
The Longhorns went back up by two on a solo homer by Krpec to lead off the bottom of the sixth. It was the first home run of the season for the senior.
The Big Orange were retired in order in the seventh as Davis struck out the final two batters to end the game. The senior lefty finished with four strikeouts, gave up five hits, two runs and no walks in a complete-game effort.
MOSS IMPRESSIVE IN RELIEF: Matty Moss was solid in relief of starter Caylan Arnold. Moss entered the game at the start of the second inning and racked up seven strikeouts while giving up just one run in six innings of work. The Greenville, S.C., native has now had at least five strikeouts in seven of her 10 appearances this season, including the last five.
HOME SWEET HOME: After playing their first 15 games of the season away from home, the Vols return to Knoxville for their home opener on Thursday, March 2 to kick off the Tennessee Invitational. UT will play a doubleheader on Thursday, taking on Southeastern Louisiana at 3 p.m. and Ohio at 5:30 p.m. The Big Orange went 24-3 at home last season, including an NCAA best 22-1 record at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium during the regular season.
UP NEXT: The Vols return to Knoxville to host the Tennessee Invitational from Thursday, March 2 through Sunday, March 5. UT's home opener will be on Thursday at 3 p.m. against Southeastern Louisiana followed by another game at 5:30 p.m. against Ohio.