KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The No. 8-ranked Tennessee Volunteers fell to No. 9 Texas A&M, 5-3, in Sunday’s Game Three of the Knoxville Super Regional, coming up just one win short of the program’s eighth trip to the Women’s College World Series.
The loss marked Tennessee’s (48-12) second time not advancing out of a Super Regional (also 2014) and the first when hosting at Sheri Parker Lee Stadium.
In the top of the first inning, Matty Moss was able to escape an early jam after a leadoff single and a pair of walks loaded the bases full of Aggies with two outs. Moss got Riley Sartain to pop up to third base to end the threat.
In the bottom of the frame, the Vols capitalized on a Texas A&M (47-11) defensive miscue to take the lead. Meghan Gregg singled to left field with two outs and ended up at third after the ball rolled under Keeli Milligan’s glove for a two-base error. Brooke Vines then singled to left field to drive in Gregg and give UT a 1-0 lead in the first inning for the third straight game.
Tennessee scored twice in the second to take a three-run lead. Chelsea Seggern and CJ McClain reached base on consecutive infield singles and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. One batter later, Aubrey Leach hit a deep sacrifice fly to score Seggern from third base. A throwing error by Aggies’ center fielder Erica Russell allowed McClain to score on the play as well to give the Vols a 3-0 advantage.
Four Texas A&M runs in the top of the third quickly erased UT’s lead and put the Aggies on top. An error, a single and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out for Ashley Walters, who drove in Kaitlyn Alderink with a sacrifice fly. After leaving the bases loaded in the first, Sartain redeemed herself with a three-run homer to left field to give A&M the lead, 4-3.
The Aggies added to their advantage in the top of the fifth with a home run from Tori Vidales over the left-field wall. The solo shot prompted a pitching change for the Vols as Caylan Arnold entered the game with A&M leading 5-3.
Arnold went on to toss 3.0 shutout innings and struck out one batter in the outing to hold Texas A&M to a two-run lead.
Tennessee’s starter Moss was charged with the loss. She allowed five runs (one earned) on four hits and fired two strikeouts over 4.0 innings of work.
Gregg, McClain and Seggern all had a hit and scored a run to led UT offensively. Sartain’s three-run homer in the third proved to be the game-winner for the Aggies. Vidales also had another strong performance with two hits, two runs and an RBI. Trinity Harrington went the distance in the circle for A&M to improve to 14-2 on the year. The right-hander didn’t allow a single hit over the last four innings after giving up six and three runs over the first three.
NEW ATTENDANCE RECORDS: Sunday’s game attendance of 2,459 broke the single-game record for Sherri Parker Lee Stadium of 2,365 that was set in Game Two of the 2017 NCAA Super Regional on Saturday night. The weekend attendance total of 7,176 also set a new three-game record.
HOLCOMB EXTENDS HIT STREAK: Jenna Holcomb concluded the season on a nine game hit streak after her 1-for-4 performance on Sunday. The streak dates back to her 2-for-2 outing vs. Texas A&M on May 6.