COLUMBIA, Tenn. - The No. 5 Lady Vols took an early lead and didn't let up, outscoring Middle Tennessee, 8-0, in six innings to win the annual Midstate Classic at the Ridley Sports Complex in Columbia, Tennessee.
At the plate, Aubrey Leach, Amanda Ayala, Chelsea Seggern and Cailin Hannon all notched two hits while five other Lady Vols tallied one. Kaili Phillips and Ayala combined for five RBIs.
Freshman righthander Ashley Rogers threw her fourth shutout of the season to improve her record to 7-0. She gave up just two hits while striking out nine of her 21 batters faced.
To lead off the first inning, Leach landed a bunt to third and proceeded to steal second. She then scored on a single through the right side by Haley Bearden.
In the second frame, Ally Shipman and Middle Tennessee's first baseman collided on a single down the line. Tianna Batts came in to run as Shipman was awarded the base on an obstruction call. Two at-bats later, Seggern doubled down the right-field line to make it a 2-0 game.
The Blue Raiders threatened in the fourth, putting runners in scoring position for just the second time of the night but two looking strikeouts fired by Rogers allowed UT to escape the jam.
Tennessee added four more runs to the board in the fifth, using five hits and a hit-by-pitch. Hannon and Leach led off with back-to-back singles and scored on Ayala's double to left. Savannah Huffstetler then hit a sacrifice fly with bases loaded to extend UT's lead to 6-0.
In the final frame, Ayala hit a walk-off, two-RBI double with runners on first and second to give the Lady Vols an 8-0 lead and bring the run rule into play.
ON DECK: Tennessee returns home to host Texas and BYU in the annual Tennessee Invitational on March 14-17.