KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee softball suffered back-to-back losses to Oregon State to end its run in the NCAA Knoxville Regional Sunday afternoon at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
The Beavers took Game One of the regional final, 8-3, before defeating the Lady Vols 3-1 in the elimination game to secure a trip to the Super Regional round.
Game 1 - Oregon State 8, Tennessee 3
The Lady Vols were held scoreless in six of seven innings in the first game. Beaver ace Mariah Mazon tossed a complete game and limited the Tennessee offense to three hits.
The Beavers (37-20) opened the scoring in the top of the second, plating a run after a pair of doubles by outfielders Kaylah Nelsen and Madison Simon. The score was held at 1-0 after a fantastic outfield relay from Kiki Milloy to McKenna Gibson to Kelcy Leach nabbed a runner at home.
Oregon State took a three-run lead when cleanup hitter Frankie Hammoude crushed a ball off the scoreboard in the top of the third. The two-run blast moved the junior infielder into sole possession of second place on OSU's all-time career home run chart. After Ryleigh White entered the circle and promptly retired the side in order in the top of the fourth, the Beavers added two runs to their tally in the fifth.
Savannah Whatley led off the frame with a walk and moved to third on a sac bunt, then the freshman shortstop came home on a Tennessee error to give her team a four-run lead. Nelsen made it 5-0 with a sac fly to center, but the Lady Vols did not go down without a fight. Tennessee (41-18) broke up the shutout in the bottom of the fifth with three runs on three hits.
Sophomore Rylie West roped a two-run double to the right-center gap to put the Lady Vols on the board, then Milloy brought her home with an RBI single through the left side to cut the deficit to 5-3 through five.
Mazon pushed the Oregon State lead back to five in the top of the sixth, supporting her own cause with a three-run homer to left that made it 8-3 to cement the game's final score. Tennessee put a pair of runners on to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but a strikeout and two fielder's choices ended the contest and forced a seventh game at the Knoxville Regional.
Game 2 - Oregon State 3, Tennessee 1
Oregon State freshman Sarah Haendiges carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning as Tennessee dropped the elimination game 3-1 to the Beavers.
Super senior infielder Ashley Morgan accounted for UT's only run of the game with a solo home run in her final at-bat as a Lady Vol in the top of the seventh.
Graduate lefty Erin Edmoundson dealt five scoreless frames before the Beavers put up three runs in the bottom of the sixth. The Deer Park, Texas, native finished her final career outing with four strikeouts, two walks, three earned runs and five hits allowed over 6.0 innings.
Edmoundson retired the first nine batters she faced and kept Oregon State scoreless in the fourth after escaping a bases loaded jam. She once again retired the side in order in the bottom of the fifth with two Ks and a flyout.
In the bottom of the sixth, OSU freshman Kiki Escobar led off with a single through the right side before Mazon mashed her second home run of the day to put the Beavers on top 2-0. Simon added an insurance run with an RBI single to give Oregon State a three-run edge through six complete.
With two outs on the board in the seventh, Morgan stepped in and crushed a 2-1 pitch high and deep to the bleachers in right center for her 11th home run of the season and 25th of Rher career. A flyout to right field on UT's next plate appearance ended the game and sent Oregon State into the Super Regional round.
This marks the end of the 2022 campaign for Tennessee softball. UT's season comes to a close with a 41-18 overall record. The Lady Vols have won 40 or more games in 19 consecutive full seasons and have reached the NCAA Tournament every year since 2004.