KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The No. 8-ranked Tennessee Volunteers (48-11) dropped Game Two of the NCAA Knoxville Super Regional, 6-5, to No. 9 Texas A&M (46-11) at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on Saturday.
Meghan Gregg continued to prove why she’s a National Player of the Year candidate in the top of the first, hitting a monster solo home run with two outs to right-center field. The home run was the 15th of the season for the junior slugger and gave the Vols a 1-0 first-inning lead for the second straight game.
Tennessee’s lead was short-lived, however, as the Aggies took advantage of a pair of walks and an RBI single from Kristen Cuyos to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first.
In the second inning, back-to-back RBI-infield singles by Aubrey Leach and Jenna Holcomb put the Vols back on top, 3-1. Haley Bearden led off the inning with a single and scored on Leach’s hit to give the Orange and White the lead back. One batter later, Holcomb drove in Chelsea Seggern for her fifth RBI of the NCAA tournament.
Bearden came up with her second hit of the game to increase UT’s lead to three with an RBI single in the top of the fifth. Gregg came around to score on the play after leading off the inning with a four-pitch walk to extend Tennessee’s advantage to 4-1.
Texas A&M (46-11) rallied to take a 5-4 lead with four runs in the bottom of the fifth frame. Ashley Walters singled to center to score Kaitlyn Alderink and Riley Sartain followed with an RBI double off the wall in center field. Sarah Hudek’s sacrifice fly then tied the game at four before Samantha Show doubled to the gap in left center to give the Aggies their first lead of the game.
The Vols (48-11) battled back to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the sixth thanks to another RBI-infield single from Holcomb. The freshman from California has had two RBIs in each game of the Super Regionals. The Big Orange had a chance to take the lead after a walk to Gregg loaded the bases with just one out, but Payton McBride came on in relief to retire Brooke Vines and Megan Geer to escape the jam.
Tori Vidales put the Aggies back in front with an RBI single to left-center field in the bottom of the sixth. Keeli Milligan scored from second on the play to give A&M a 6-5 lead after getting hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
Tennessee threatened in the seventh, putting runners on first and second with one out but McBride was able to retire the next two batters to secure the win and force a winner-take-all Game Three for a spot in the Women’s College World Series.
Starter Caylan Arnold allowed two runs on three hits and struck out one batter through three innings of work in a losing effort. She is now 20-9 on the season.
UP NEXT: The deciding game of the Knoxville Super Regional will start at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 28 and will be broadcast on ESPN. The game will also be aired via a live audio broadcast on Sports Radio WNML and UTSports.com.
NEW SINGLE-GAME ATTENDANCE RECORD: Saturday’s game attendance of 2,365 broke the single-game record for Sherri Parker Lee Stadium of 2,352 that was set in Game One of the 2017 NCAA Super Regional on Friday night.
HOLCOMB EXTENDS HIT STREAK: Jenna Holcomb extended her current hit streak to eight games with her 2-for-4, two RBI performance on Saturday. The streak dates back to her 2-for-2 outing vs. Texas A&M on May 6.
GREGG BLASTS 15TH HOMER: Meghan Gregg’s home run in the the first inning gave her lone possession of fourth place (39) in Tennessee’s all-time career home run records, moving ahead of VFL Jessica Spigner (38). The longball also tied her for seventh place (15) in the single-season home run record column.