RODRIGUEZ MAGIC, STRONG OFFENSE CARRIES #2 TENNESSEE TO SERIES WIN OVER #19 BAYLOR

Courtesy / UT Athletics

RODRIGUEZ MAGIC, STRONG OFFENSE CARRIES #2 TENNESSEE TO SERIES WIN OVER #19 BAYLOR

Courtesy / UT Athletics

Game Recap: Softball | February 10, 2024

WACO, Texas – The second-ranked Lady Vols wasted no time in winning their first series of the 2024 campaign as they won both games of Friday’s doubleheader against Baylor at Getterman Stadium. UT took game one, 3-2, before winning game two, 9-1, in six innings.

Tennessee (3-0) needed to come from behind in game one – getting a little last-out magic from Texas native Destiny Rodriguez – before taking an early lead in game two and extending it throughout the night as UT run-ruled the Bears to claim the series victory.

GAME 1 – #2 Tennessee 3 – #19 Baylor 2
Baylor (0-1) struck first in the third inning as Emily Hott roped a double through the left side of the infield to score McKenzie Wilson who reached on an error earlier in the frame.

Tennessee senior Ryleigh White got the start in the circle and threw two scoreless innings and allowed just a pair of hits. She gave way to sophomore Karlyn Pickens who finished out the game, tossing five innings.

The righty allowed two runs – one earned – and surrendered a solo home run to Hott in the fifth inning that put Baylor up 2-0. Pickens finished the night with five strikeouts.

UT got a run back in the sixth courtesy of a McKenna Gibson single to right that scored Rylie West. West reached base on a double down the left-field line that broke up a Baylor no-hitter.

Down to its final out of the game, Tennessee called on Destiny Rodriguez to pinch hit. The sophomore crushed the first pitch she saw, depositing it over the wall in straightaway center field. The two-run homer put the Lady Vols up 3-2 and was the first career home run for the Live Oak, Texas, native.

Pickens closed out Baylor in the bottom of the seventh as Tennessee completed to comeback win.

GAME 2 – #2 Tennessee 9 – #19 Baylor 1
Tennessee did not wait long to get on the board in game two, as Kiki Milloy took advantage of a wild pitch and an error to score UT’s first run of the game. Milloy reached base on a leadoff walk before stealing second. She advanced to third on the wild pitch and came home on a throwing error.

The Bears tied up the game in the home half of the inning as Sydney Collazos knocked a single to center to drive in Emily Hott.

Milloy made history in the third as she hit her 57th career home run – tying her with Meghan Gregg for most all-time in Tennessee history. Milloy’s solo shot put UT up 2-1. The Lady Vols went back-to-back as Rylie West followed up with a solo homer of her own, extending Tennessee’s lead to two.

UT pushed across one run in the fourth before blowing the game open as it scored five times in the sixth.

Charli Orsini got the start in the circle in game two, tossing 1.2 innings. The sophomore allowed one run on three hits with a strikeout and a walk. Payton Gottshall came on in relief and finished out the night, throwing 4.1 innings.

The graduate struck out six, walked none and gave up just a trio of hits as she locked down the Bears. Gottshall earned the win and is now 2-0 after three games.

UP NEXT
Tennessee and Baylor close out the three-game set on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. The game can be streamed on ESPN+ or fans can listen live to Hunter King on the radio broadcast at UTSports.com or through the Tennessee Athletics Gameday App.

Courtesy / UT Athletics

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