KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — No. 8 Tennessee is one win away from advancing to the Women’s College World Series after an 8-1 victory over No. 9 Texas A&M in the opening game of the NCAA Super Regionals at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on Friday night.
Matty Moss threw her 14th complete game of the season to improve to 26-2 on the year while Jenna Holcomb led the team offensively with a triple and two RBIs. UT set a new single-game attendance record as 2,353 fans packed into Lee Stadium to create a raucous environment.
The Vols opened the game with a run in the top of the first thanks to a perfect bunt single by Brooke Vines to score Aubrey Leach from third base. UT went on to load the bases later in the inning but were unable to capitalize for more runs.
The Big Orange added two more runs in the second inning to jump out to a 3-0 lead. CJ McClain reached on an infield single, stole second and came around to score on a triple by Holcomb. One batter later, Holcomb raced home and scored on a passed ball to extend the Vols’ advantage to three runs after two innings.
Tennessee (48-10) blew the game wide open with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the third inning to make it 8-0. The Vols were aided by four walks from Texas A&M pitchers in the frame. Abby Lockman and Katie Weimer drew back-to-back walks with the bases loaded to bring in the first two runs of the inning. Leach and Holcomb kept the train rolling with RBIs of their own before Meghan Gregg capped the scoring with an RBI groundout, moving her into sole possession of the UT single-season RBI record with 78.
Texas A&M (45-11) broke up the shutout and avoided the run rule by scoring a run in the top of the fifth. Ashley Walters led off the inning with a double and pinch runner Blake-Ann Fritsch scored two at-bats later when Sarah Hudek singled to left field to cut UT’s lead to 8-1.
Samantha Show was stuck with the loss for the Aggies, giving up six runs on five hits while walking five batters in just two innings of work. Hudek was the only A&M player with multiple hits for the game.
UP NEXT: The Volunteers will try and secure their spot in the Women’s College World Series with a win in tomorrow’s contest against the Aggies. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. ET and the game will be aired live on ESPN2.
RBI RECORD BELONGS TO GREGG: Junior shortstop Meghan Gregg broke the Tennessee single-season RBI record with a groundout in the third inning. Gregg’s 78 RBIs this year move her ahead of Kristi Durant (2005) and Bridget Jackson (1996), who were previously tied with Gregg for the record with 77.
HOLCOMB DELIVERS: Freshman outfielder Jenna Holcomb was one of six Volunteers to drive in runs on the evening. The California native tripled, scored a run and had two RBIs in the win for UT.
PATIENCE PAYS OFF: The Vols were patient at the plate and it paid off big time in Friday’s victory. UT drew seven walks, including four in a five-run third inning that effectively put the game on ice. Aggies’ starting pitcher Samantha Show walked a season-high five batters before being pulled in the third. Texas A&M also walked in a pair of runs in the third inning.