#5 Tennessee Splits Final Two Games at Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

(Courtesy / UT Athletics)

#5 Tennessee Splits Final Two Games at Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

CATHEDRAL CITY, Cali. – No. 5 Tennessee split on the final day of the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic – defeating Hawai’i 10-2 in six innings before falling to No. 19 UCLA 6-2 in the weekend finale.
 
The Lady Vols went 4-2 on the weekend and are now 8-4 on the year.
 
Karlyn Pickens and Kiki Milloy highlighted the weekend with a perfect game from Pickens against LMU, followed by a 14-strikeout performance against UCF. Versus LMU, Milloy became Tennessee’s all-time home run leader as she hit her 58th career homer.
 
GAME ONE – #5 Tennessee 10, Hawai’i 2
Tennessee run-ruled Hawai’i in its penultimate game at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, defeating the Rainbow Wahine 10-2 in six innings.
 
UT struck early and often as it scored eight runs through the game’s first three innings. Junior McKenna Gibson plated Tennessee’s first run as she roped a single through the middle of the infield to score Kiki Milloy.
 
The Lady Vols posted four runs in the second, scoring the first on a bases-loaded wild pitch. Rylie West then hit a three-run home run to left – her fourth homer of the year – to clear the bases.
 
Senior Zaida Puni hit her first homer of the season in the third frame – knocking a solo shot over the wall in right. Later in the inning, freshman Bella Faw singled up the middle to drive home Giulia Koutsoyanopulos for her first-career RBI.
 
Milloy drove in Faw from third on a single to right.
 
Hawai’i struck for two runs in the fourth – getting a two-run home run from Chloe Borges.
 
Tennessee picked up the run-rule win with a pair of runs in the sixth – scoring one on a Gibson RBI single before an error allowed the last run to score.
 
Ryleigh White got the start for UT in the circle and went 2.1 innings, scattering three hits and waking one. Charli Orsini came on in relief and finished the final 3.2 frames, allowing two runs on five hits. The sophomore struck out one as she earned her first victory of the season.
 
GAME TWO – #5 Tennessee 2, #19 UCLA 6
Home runs were the story of game two as both teams combined for five long balls. Sophomore Destiny Rodriguez started the party with a solo shot deep to left in the top half of the second – giving Tennessee an early 1-0 lead.
 
UCLA answered right back with a solo home run of its own in the home half of the inning off the bat of Sharlize Palacios.
 
In the third, the Bruins took a 4-1 lead after Maya Brady reached on a fielder’s choice – driving home Janelle Meono. Jordan Woolery then hit a two-run homer to left, extending the UCLA lead.
 
Sophia Nugent cut the lead to two with a solo homer in the fourth – her third of the season.
 
UCLA added two more runs – scoring one in the fifth and one in the sixth – to provide the final score line.
 
Karlyn Pickens got the start in the circle – lasting 2.1 innings. She allowed four runs on three hits with four strikeouts before giving way to Payton Gottshall.
 
Gottshall tossed 3.2 frames, scattering six hits and giving up two runs. The graduate struck out four of 16 batters faced.
 
UP NEXT
Tennessee returns home to Sherri Parker Lee Stadium next weekend as it plays host to the Tennessee Classic March 1-3.

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