#4 TENNESSEE WINS 20TH STRAIGHT GAME, DEFEATS AUBURN 8-4 TO CLINCH SERIES

(Courtesy / UT Athletics)

#4 TENNESSEE WINS 20TH STRAIGHT GAME, DEFEATS AUBURN 8-4 TO CLINCH SERIES

AUBURN, Ala. – Fourth-ranked Tennessee made history Saturday night at Jane B. Moore Stadium as it knocked off Auburn, 8-4, to open SEC play 8-0 – the best conference start in program history.
 
Tennessee (28-4, 8-0 SEC) also extended its nation-leading win streak to 20 consecutive – the Lady Vols have now reeled off 20 straight wins in back-to-back seasons. UT won its 12th road game in a row, which is the second-longest road winning streak in the country.
 
Saturday turned into a home run derby with Tennessee hitting four long balls to Auburn’s three. Ten of the game’s 12 combined runs were scored off of home runs.
 
McKenna Gibson put UT on the board with a first-inning two-run home run – her fifth blast of the season. The junior finished the night 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs.
 
Auburn (15-11-1, 2-9 SEC) cut into the lead with a KK McCrary solo shot in the bottom half of the frame. The long ball was one of two for McCrary on the night.
 
Taylor Pannell and Zaida Puni clubbed solo blasts in back-to-back innings – Pannell in the second and Puni in the third – to push Tennessee’s lead to 4-1. The Lady Vols scratched across a second run in the third off an error, providing a little insurance.
 
McCrary hit her second long ball of the night in the home half of the third to keep the Tigers within striking distance at 5-2.
 
The teams traded two-run home runs in the fourth with Giulia Koutsoyanopulos hitting her third home run of the year before Icess Tresvik knocked her first out of the park.
 
Rylie West provided a cushion for Tennessee with a sixth-inning RBI single to plate the Lady Vols’ eighth run of the night.
 
Sophomore Charli Orsini was excellent in relief, tossing three innings out of the bullpen. She held the Tigers off the board and gave up only a pair of hits. The Kellyville, New South Wales, Australia, native earned the victory on Saturday and is now 2-0 on the year.
 
STAT OF THE DAY
Tennessee has hit 57 home runs this season – with seven coming over the last two games – and is just 23 blasts away from eclipsing last season’s total of 79.
 
UP NEXT
The Lady Vols and Tigers will close out the three-game series on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

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