Throwing heat

Former Meigs County pitcher and McMinn County native Ashley Rogers gets ready to fire a pitch during Saturday’s doubleheader sweep of Southeast Missouri.

Tennessee continued its homestand in undefeated fashion with two stellar wins over a gritty SEMO Redhawks team in a Saturday doubleheader at Sherri Parker Lee.

Big bats helped the Lady Vols start the day with a 7-0 victory behind nine combined hits including sophomore Kiki Milloy’s two-run yard ball over the left field wall to get things going.

Milloy (2-for-6) was one of four Lady Vols to take round-trippers on the day. Newcomer Ivy Davis (3-for-5), a senior, added her third home run of the season, also bringing in Treasuary Poindexter (0-for-2), during the bottom of the fourth in game 1 to move the count ahead 6-0.

UT appeared to be on its way to a run-rule shutout after finding the plate twice in innings 2, 3 and 4, but went down in order in the fifth. Despite outhitting the Redhawks 9-3, Tennessee only tabbed one additional run in the sixth to provide the final margin.

Junior ace Ashley Rogers (0.00 ERA) picked up her first win of the day offering eight strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work.

Callie Turner made her first appearance of the season, coming in to relieve Rogers in the final two innings of game 1. Sophomore Turner, who filled in as the team’s ace in 2020 while Rogers nursed a slight injury, gave up one hit, one walk and retired one batter at the plate.

Tennessee 5, SEMO 3: UT’s bats talked late in a closely-contested game 2. This time it was senior first baseman Ashley Morgan (3-for-5) whose bat did most of the yapping.

It was Morgan’s bat that brought in Amanda Ayala (3-for-6) in the first inning to give the Orange and White a 1-0 lead. It was also Morgan’s bat that jacked one out of right field to lead off the bottom of the six and score the go-ahead run to move ahead 4-3.

A nagging SEMO offense came to life in the top of the fourth after its first baseman Ashley Ellis homered to get the team its first run of the day. That momentum spilled over into the fifth inning and a trio of hits and an untimely throwing error by Tennessee allowed the Redhawks to knot things at 3-3.

Rogers stepped back into circle to relieve freshman Bailey McCachren in the top of the sixth and managed the defense for 2.0 innings, fanning an additional three batters. SEMO could not come up with another hit with the Athens, Tenn., native in the circle, which allowed the Lady Vols offense to step up.

Graduate senior Cailin Hannon (1-for-6) bookended the day with a dinger through right field, her first of the season and that gave UT the insurance it needed to close out the seventh.

McCachren gave up six hits, one earned run, and recorded one strikeout. Rogers was credited with the win and is now 3-0 on the year.

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