A complete-game shutout for Ashley Rogers and a three-run fifth for the Tennessee offense propelled the Big Orange to a 3-0 victory over Oregon State Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Knoxville Regional. With the win, UT advances to Sunday's regional final needing one win to move on the super regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
Rogers was fantastic in earning her second win in as many days, tossing seven scoreless frames with eight strikeouts and two hits allowed. The right-handed senior from Athens, Tennessee, has not yielded a run in 20 innings pitched in the postseason, totaling 21 strikeouts to three walks over that stretch with just five hits surrendered.
Junior outfielder Kiki Milloy posted her second-straight multi-hit effort, going 2-for-3 with a two-run shot in the top of the fifth as Tennessee was designated to bat as the away team in the contest. Freshman infielder McKenna Gibson sparked the fifth-inning rally with a one-run single, notching her second RBI of the tournament after launching a solo blast on Friday against Campbell.
Tennessee (41-16) was limited to one hit through the first four frames but broke up the shutout with three runs on four hits in the top of the fifth. Gibson opened the scoring with a single rocketed off the left field wall that allowed pinch runner Katie Taylor to dash home from second. With Gibson on first, Milloy stepped in and crushed her 15th home run of the season high and deep over the scoreboard in left center. The two-run blast gave the Lady Vols a 3-0 edge in the middle of the fifth.
Rogers dominated in the circle throughout, recording at least one strikeout in each of the last five innings for UT. Tennessee's clean defense was also on display as the Lady Vols posted their seventh consecutive game without committing an error.
Oregon State (34-20) mustered two hits for just the third time this season with right fielder Kaylah Nelsen knocking a pair of singles for the Beavers. Pitcher Mariah Mazon took the loss, going the distance with eight strikeouts and three earned runs.
UP NEXT: Tennessee will face the winner of Saturday's third game (matchup TBD) in the Knoxville Regional final, needing one win on Sunday to book its 12th trip to the NCAA Super Regionals. Game 6 of the Knoxville Regional is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, with Game 7 slotted for 4:30 p.m. if necessary.