The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Lynchburg, Virginia

No. 12 Lady Vols crush three homers and Liberty

70 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- No. 12 Tennessee softball rounded out non-conference play with a 7-2 road victory at Liberty Wednesday afternoon in its final midweek matchup of the regular season.

Three Lady Vols homered in the victory as UT picked up its 23rd non-conference win of the 2022 campaign.

Sophomore infielder Zaida Puni logged her third three-hit outing of the season, finishing a triple shy of the cycle with a single, double and solo home run for the Big Orange.

Junior outfielder Kiki Milloy continued to rake against non-league foes, hitting 2-for-4 with a solo shot and an RBI single. The All-American is currently batting .406 with seven doubles and 12 home runs in 30 games against non-conference competition this season.

Rylie West accounted for UT's second homer on the day with a three-run blast for her seventh of the season.

Wednesday's performance marked Tennessee's 10th game with three or more home runs this season, and the Lady Vols are 10-0 in those contests while outscoring opponents 84-14.

Senior right-hander Ashley Rogers was credited with the win in the circle, spinning 4.1 innings with one earned run and four strikeouts. Graduate lefty Erin Edmoundson closed out the game with 2.2 frames of one-hit, one-run relief in which she tallied three Ks.

After a scoreless first inning, Tennessee (34-13) got on the board with an RBI infield single from Ashley Morgan. The super senior infielder popped a ball down the first base line that bounced off the Liberty pitcher and into the Tennessee dugout, allowing freshman McKenna Gibson to score easily from third after leading off the inning with a walk.

Milloy doubled Tennessee's lead in the top of the third, crushing a towering solo blast over the left field wall to give the Lady Vols a 2-0 edge. The Woodinville, Washington, native hit the bomb right on cue as former UT head coach Ralph Weekly had just described her as one of the best players he had ever seen live on the ESPN+ broadcast.

Liberty (35-14) responded with its first run of the afternoon on a pair of hits in the bottom of the third. After Paris, Tennessee, native Caroline Hudson reached on an infield single and moved into scoring position on Lou Allan's walk, junior third baseman Denay Griffin roped an RBI single to right center that cut Tennessee's lead to 2-1 through three.

Recording her second hit of the afternoon, Milloy blooped an RBI single to left field to put the Lady Vols back on top by two in the top of the fourth. The base knock scored pinch runner Katie Taylor from third, who replaced catcher Kelcy Leach after the backstop led off with a full-count walk.

West provided a five-run cushion for the Big Orange with her seventh home run of the season, lining a pitch over center field to drive in three runs for Tennessee. Amanda Ayala and Puni scored on the play after reaching on a walk and a single, respectively, to begin the top of the fifth.

Leading off the top of the seventh, Puni provided Tennessee's seventh run of the ballgame with a solo smash that went down as her 12th home run of the season.

Hudson knocked her own solo homer for the Flames in the bottom half, but Liberty could not keep the rally going as Edmoundson struck out the final batter swinging to cement the road victory.

Up Next

The Lady Vols return to SEC action this weekend with a three-game set at Ole Miss. The series runs Saturday to Monday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex in Oxford, Mississippi.