The No. 8 Lady Vols sunk the ETSU Buccaneers, 11-0, in five innings on Tuesday night with two grand slams and a no-hit pitching performance to extend their winning streak over in-state opponents to 97 games.
During the contest, senior Aubrey Leach walked four times to tie and then break the program record for career walks. She has 155 free passes for her career with 11 games left to play in the regular season.
Fellow senior Haley Bearden became the first Lady Vol in history to hit two grand slams in a game and the first player since Lauren Gibson in 2013 to record eight RBI in a single outing. UT has had two grand slams hit in the same game on three other occasions, but all were by different players.
In the first inning, Tennessee took a 1-0 lead that it never relinquished. Three consecutive walks were thrown to start the frame before Kaili Phillips hit a fielder’s choice to shortstop to score Leach from third.
The Lady Vols then took a commanding 5-0 advantage in the third as Bearden crushed her first-career grand slam to left field. UT’s one through three hitters had reached base via walks for the second time of the night prior to Bearden’s hit.
In the fourth frame, Savannah Huffstetler reached on an error and Amanda Ayala was brought in to pinch run. She stole second and came home on Chelsea Seggern’s bases-loaded walk. In the next at-bat, Bearden once again launched a ball beyond the outfield wall to extend Tennessee’s lead to 10-0 with her second grand slam of the night.
Freshman Madison Pacini delivered the RBI-single to right field in the fifth inning that scored Huffstetler from second for the 11-0 final.
In the circle, the Lady Vols started Ashley Rogers and turned to Matty Moss to deliver the fifth combined no-hitter in UT history. It’s just the second combined no-hitter that LVFL Monica Abbott did not throw an inning in and the 49th overall no-no in the record book.
Rogers tossed 3.0 shutout innings, allowing just one batter to reach base via a walk. She struck out eight of her 10 batters faced and 30 of her 43 pitches were strikes. The Athens, Tenn., native is now 16-2 on the season.
To start the fourth inning, Moss entered in relief and threw 19 pitches to close out the final two frames.