Softball Preview: Tennessee Classic

Softball Preview: Tennessee Classic

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 4/7 Tennessee softball team opens up its 2023 home campaign this weekend, playing Friday through Sunday as it welcomes Appalachian State, Jacksonville State and Belmont to Sherri Parker Lee Stadium for the Tennessee Classic.
 
The schedule has already undergone changes due to inclement weather moving into Knoxville. The new schedule features the Lady Vols playing one game against App State on Friday, followed by two games against Jacksonville State on Saturday. The weekend wraps up with UT playing Belmont twice on Sunday.

A full weekend schedule can be found at this LINK.
 
FOLLOW LIVE
Every Tennessee game this weekend will be available to stream on SECN+ through the Watch ESPN app. Live stats will also be available for each game throughout the weekend. Streaming and live stat links can be found by visiting the Tennessee softball schedule page on UTsports.com.
 
HONORING WEEKLY
Head coach Karen Weekly won her 1,000th game at the helm of the Lady Vols on Feb. 25, 2023, in a 12-0 win over UIC. She currently has 1,001 wins entering the weekend after defeating UIC again on Sunday.
 
Weekly is the second-winningest head coach in Tennessee Athletics history among coaches of head-to-head team sports. She is second to the legendary Pat Summitt who won 1,098 games during her tenure as head coach of the Lady Vols women’s basketball program.
 
Prior to UT’s first game this weekend against App State, Tennessee will pause to honor Weekly for reaching 1,000 wins on Rocky Top.
 
TENNESSEE KNOWS OFFENSE
Teams at the University of Tennessee have become very familiar with high-scoring outputs, and Lady Vol softball is no different. UT currently ranks third in the nation and second in the SEC in scoring, averaging 8.67 runs per game.
 
Tennessee has scored six or more runs in nine games this season – including a 21-1 victory over Howard on opening day. Through 12 games, UT is out-scoring its opponents 104-9.
 
DOUBLE TROUBLE
Tennessee is one of the top teams in the nation when it comes to roping doubles. The Lady Vols average 2.17 doubles per game through the season’s first three weekends. The mark leads the SEC and ranks fourth nationally.
 
AHLIN IS ALL-IN
True freshman Amanda Ahlin is on a tear to begin her collegiate career with a team-leading .500 batting average. Ahlin has 18 plate appearances with nine hits, 13 runs scored and four RBIs.
 
At the USF Invitational, she went 5-for-9 (.556) with seven runs scored and one RBI. She also swiped four bases to bring her season stolen base total to six.
 
SCOUTING THE FIELD
App State
 
2023 Record: 9-3
 
Series Record: UT leads, 10-0
 
Last Meeting: April 16, 2013 (W, 9-0 (5))
 
Key Player/Stat: App State enters the weekend riding a six-game win streak. Its last win came against ETSU on Tuesday night, a 5-4 victory. Kayt Houston leads the team with a .400 average, while Kaley Coltrain provides the pop with a .719 slugging percentage, three home runs and a 1.242 OPS. Kaylie Northrop and Sejal Neas have three wins apiece in the circle, with Delani Buckner notching a pair of victories and holding a team-leading 0.64 ERA.
 
Jacksonville State
 
2023 Record: 10-4
 
Series Record: Tied 2-2
 
Last Meeting: March 4, 2017 (W, 3-2)
 
Key Player/Stat: The Gamecocks have won their last two games coming into the tournament, knocking off Western Kentucky and Central Michigan. Lindsey Richardson leads the offense with a .389 batting average, 1.140 OPS and a .611 slugging percentage. She has a pair of homers on the year and 14 RBIs. In the circle, Kat Carter and Jaliyah Holmes have each won four games for JSU.
 
Belmont
 
2023 Record: 9-3
 
Series Record: Tennessee leads, 15-0
 
Last Meeting: March 8, 2016 (W, 16-0 (5))
 
Key Player/Stat: The Bruins stand at 9-3 on the year after going 2-2 last weekend at the Mercer Bear Invitational. Kristen Green (.368) and Emily Cockrill (.361) are both hitting well for Belmont and hold slugging percentages at .500 or better this season. Maya Johnson leads the Bruins in the pitcher’s circle, holding a 2.20 ERA with six wins, three complete games and 56 strikeouts.
 
UP NEXT
Tennessee continues its homestand as Tennessee Tech comes to Knoxville for a Wednesday night showdown at 6 p.m. ET. The Lady Vols then welcome Ole Miss to SPL March 10-12 for the first weekend of SEC play.

-UT Athletics

Kiki Milloy – Lady Vols / Credit: UT Athletics

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