Softball Preview: Tennessee Invitational

Softball Preview: Tennessee Invitational

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The fourth-ranked Lady Vols softball team will step outside conference play this week as it plays host to No. 21 Baylor and Mercer on Thursday and Friday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium for the Tennessee Invitational.
 
The two-day tournament features three games on both days with Tennessee playing in games two and three on Thursday and Friday. Due to expected inclement weather in Knoxville, stayed tuned to @Vol_Softball on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.

Tennessee (29-3, 10-2 SEC) is coming off its fourth consecutive SEC series win after taking two games from Texas A&M on the road last week.
 
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Thursday, April 6 (All Times Eastern)
9 a.m. – Gate Open
10 a.m. – Baylor vs. Mercer
12:30 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Mercer
3 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Baylor
 
Friday, April 7
9 a.m. – Gates Open
10 a.m. – Mercer vs. Baylor
12:30 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Baylor
3 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Mercer
 
BROADCAST INFO
Fans can listen to the Voice of Tennessee Softball, Brian Rice, call the action on the Vol Network (AM 990) or via a free audio stream on UTSports.com and the Tennessee Athletics Gameday App.
 
NOTABLE
ROGERS SHINING BRIGHT
Graduate pitcher Ashley Rogers has been stellar in the circle this season and holds an 11-0 record through 14 appearances. The righty has an ERA of 0.75 and a WHIP of .64 – her ERA is second-best in the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation. Rogers is also holding opponents to 2.53 hits per seven innings which leads the conference and is No. 2 in the NCAA.
 
In 74.2 innings of work, she has 108 strikeouts to 21 walks while opponents are hitting just .108 against her.
 
DOUBLE THE FUN
Shortstop Mackenzie Donihoo leads the SEC and is third nationally this season with 14 doubles. She also ranks third in the conference and No. 12 in the NCAA in runs scored at 1.19.
 
KIKI SHOWING OUT
Senior Kiki Milloy has been on a tear this season and ranks at or near the top in the SEC and nation in several statistical categories. The Woodenville, Washington, native holds a .432 batting average with 14 home runs (t-1 SEC / t-3 NCAA), 1.38 runs per game (No. 1 SEC & NCAA), a .958 slugging percentage (No. 2 SEC / No. 5 NCAA), 23 stolen bases (No. 2 SEC / t-11 NCAA) and 91 total bases (No. 1 SEC / t-8 NCAA).
 
The center fielder also has an OPS of 1.499.
 
SCORING IN BUNCHES
The Lady Vols are outscoring opponents 242-33 this season and are averaging 7.56 runs per game. The mark is tops in the SEC and fourth-best in the nation.
 
NATIONAL RANKINGS
Tennessee enters the weekend ranked in the top five in all four major polls – D1Softball (No. 4), Softball America (No. 4), USA Softball (No. 5) and NFCA (No. 5).
 
SCOUTING BAYLOR
 
Head Coach (Record at Baylor): Glenn Moore (865-434)
 
2023 Record: 27-9 (2-4 Big 12)
 
Series Record: Tied 4-4
 
Last Meeting: W, 4-0, on 2/12/05 in Las Vegas, Nevada
 
Key Stat: Baylor went 4-1 last week, defeating both UTSA and Texas State in midweek matchups before going 2-1 against Kansas on the weekend. Overall this season, Baylor ranks second in the Big 12 in pitching ERA during all games, with a 1.73 team ERA. No. 1 Oklahoma is the only team ahead of the Bears. BU is aggressive on the base paths with 60 stolen bases this season.
 
 SCOUTING MERCER
 
Head Coach (Record at Mercer): Lindsay Fico (28-64)
 
2023 Record: 12-24 (3-3 SoCon)
 
Series Record: Tied 1-1
 
Last Meeting: W, 12-0 (5), on 2/19/05 in Statesboro, Georgia
 
Key Stat: Rebeca Laudino leads the Southern Conference in hits (45) and steal attempts (16). She ranks second in batting percentage at .398. Tori Hedgecock leads in home runs (11) after a homer against Georgia Tech to record Mercer’s only runs for the game. In the circle, Grace Taylor is third in the league in batters struck out looking (22) and No. 1 in saves (3).
 
UP NEXT
Tennessee heads out on a four-game road swing next week as it visits Virginia Tech for a midweek showdown on Tuesday before heading to Lexington, Kentucky, for a three-game set against the Wildcats.

-UT Athletics

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