Dan Fleser: Lady Vols, Vols Keep Playing With Wins Over OSU, Charlotte

  • Sunday, June 4, 2023
  • Dan Fleser

The Tennessee baseball team is coming home from Clemson, S.C. after Sunday night while Lady Vols softball is staying put in Oklahoma City. That’s exactly what they wanted.

Vols baseball, buoyed by three homers from its hitters and 15 strikeouts from its pitchers, crushed Charlotte 9-2 to win the Clemson Regional.

Ashley Rogers’ gutsy 136-pitch complete game, meanwhile, led the Lady Vols to a 3-1 elimination-game victory over Oklahoma State.

Here’s some highlights:   

-Tennessee’s Christian Moore had himself a regional, finishing with a pair of homers and driving in four runs against Charlotte, which eliminated Clemson earlier in the day. The Vols second baseman homered in all three regional games.

Moore was instrumental to Saturday’s 6-5 14-inning victory over Clemson. He had three hits and reached base five times, scoring two runs and driving in another. Defensively, he played a part in a clutch double play to end a Clemson scoring threat in the 10th inning.

-The Vols might be staying home for the Super Regional. The Clemson Regional was paired in the tournament bracket with the Auburn Regional. Host Auburn, the No. 13 national seed, already has been eliminated. Penn and Southern Miss were playing late Sunday for the regional championship.

-Rogers’ pitch count wasn’t a by-product of strikeouts. She had just three. She used all the strike zone with her pitches along with a good amount of poise and determination.

“I worked to get here,” the senior right-hander said in an ESPN interview afterward. “I know I have the tools to go out there and execute. Just trusting my preparation . . .  and pitching freely.”

-The Lady Vols defense also came to her assistance. Center fielder Kiki Milloy and shortstop Mackenzie Donihoo both made diving catches. Right-fielder Katie Taylor and second base Destiny Rodriguez also relayed the softball from the outfield to catcher Giulia Koutsoyanopulos in the fourth inning, cutting down an Oklahoma State baserunner at home plate and preventing a run.

-The victory advanced the Lady Vols to a semifinal game against No. 3 seed Florida State on Monday night.

* * *

Dan Fleser is a 1980 graduate of the University of Missouri, who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 1988. He is a 2022 inductee to the Tennessee Sportswriters Hall of Fame. He can be reached at danfleser3@gmail.com.

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