Courtesy / UT Athletics


Game Recap: Softball | February 24, 2024

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The fifth-ranked Lady Vols split two games on their first day at the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic – beating Loyola Marymount 4-0 before falling to Cal State Fullerton 11-2 in six innings.

Graduate Kiki Milloy and sophomore Karlyn Pickens were the stars Friday for Tennessee as Milloy became the program’s all-time home runs leader, while Pickens tossed her second-career perfect game.

Milloy’s homer in the fifth inning against LMU was her 58th career home run, passing LVFL Meghan Gregg for most in school history. The Woodinville, Washington, native now holds the career mark for home runs and the single-season home run record, which she broke in 2023.

While Milloy made history at the plate, Pickens was making history of her own in the circle. The right-hander struck out 12 and retired all 21 batters she faced en route to a perfect game. The Weaverville, North Carolina, native joins Monica Abbott and Erin Gabriel as the only Lady Vols to throw multiple perfect games in program history.

GAME ONE – #5 Tennessee 4, Loyola Marymount 0
Tennessee broke through for two runs against LMU in the home half of the fourth inning, courtesy of a Destiny Rodriguez double to center field that scored Katie Taylor. With the next at-bat, Taylor Pannell knocked a sacrifice fly into shallow right field that allowed Alannah Leach to tag and score on from third.

In the fifth, Milloy led off the inning with her record-breaking home run to put Tennessee up three. Junior McKenna Gibson then added to the score with her first home run of the season – a solo shot over the wall in center.

Pickens’ 12-strikeout perfect game moves her to 3-1 on the year.

GAME TWO – #5 Tennessee 2, Cal State Fullerton 11
UT’s game against Cal State Fullerton started well as the Lady Vols took an early 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, Pannell lined a home run over the center field wall that bounced off the top of the center fielder’s glove.

The homer was Pannell’s first of the season and the second of her career.

Graduate pitcher Payton Gottshall cruised through the game’s first two frames, striking out the first five batters she faced.

The Titans’ first hit of the game came in the third – a single to center that scored Alexia Lopez who reached base on a hit-by-pitch and then stole second.

CSF added two more runs later in the frame as it took a 3-1 lead.

In the fourth, Cal State Fullerton tacked on three more runs before scoring twice in the fifth.

Milloy worked her way around the bases in the bottom of the fifth – getting hit by a pitch and stealing second before being moved to third on a grounder to second. Rylie West drove her home on a ground out to third for UT’s second run of the game.

The Titans then added three runs in the sixth to end the game an inning early.

Gottshall suffered the loss and is now 2-2 on the year.

Tennessee plays twice on Saturday, starting with Oregon State at 5:30 p.m. ET. It ends the night versus UCF at 8 p.m. Both games can be streamed on FloSports or fans can listen live to Hunter King call the action via a free audio broadcast on or through the Tennessee Athletics app.


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