KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Sophomore McKenna Gibson crushed a pair of home runs - driving in seven - as No. 3/4 Tennessee run-ruled ETSU 10-2 in six innings Tuesday night at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
The win over ETSU is UT's fifth over an in-state opponent this season and improves its record against teams from the Volunteer state to 144-4 since the program's first season in 1996.
Tennessee (27-2) was led on the night by Gibson who drove in the squad's first seven runs. She opened the scoring in the third inning with a three-run home run that sailed deep into the bleachers in right- center field.
An inning later, the Santa Clarita, California, native went opposite field again - smoking her first-career grand slam over the wall in right.
Tuesday night marks the second time Gibson has hit multiple home runs in a game - the first coming last season on April 23 against East Carolina. Her seven RBIs versus the Buccaneers are a career-best.
ETSU (7-22) scored its two runs in the fifth off the bat of Sara Muir who roped a two-RBI single to right.
In the sixth, the Lady Vols tacked on three runs beginning with an Amanda Ahlin fielder's choice to second that plated Gibson. In the next at-bat, Mackenzie Donihoo walked off with a two-RBI single to center, scoring Jackie Kirkpatrick and Destiny Rodriguez.
Donihoo finished the night 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Senior Kiki Milloy and Rodriguez also went 2-for-4 with one run scored.
Payton Gottshall was effective in 4.0 innings of work, allowing just one hit with seven strikeouts. She picked up the win and is now 7-0 on the year.
Ryleigh White came on in relief and tossed 1.2 innings, scattering five hits while surrendering two runs. Nicola Simpson faced just one batter in the game and earned a strikeout.
ETSU starter Brianna Bailey threw 5.2 innings, giving up 10 runs on 11 hits, walking six and striking out five. She is now 5-7 on the year.
Tennessee is on the road at Texas A&M Friday through Sunday, March 31-April 2. Friday and Sunday's matchups can be streamed on SECN+ with Saturday's game airing on SEC Network. Voice of the Lady Vols Brian Rice will host an audio broadcast of all three games.