The ETSU softball team traveled March 24 to take on the Lady Vols at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. The team fell short, 10-0.
The Bucs started the season prior to this game with double headers against: Presbyterian, Eastern Michigan, USC Upstate and a triple header against Western Carolina.
“We started off OK,” said head coach Brad Irwin. “Our first weekend we were 0-4 so that wasn’t a good start. We went on a pretty good stretch … We got on a little roll there. We went to a time where we split every two games. It’s been an up and down start to the year.”
The first inning was competitive as neither team was able to put points on the board.
In the second inning UT’s Tory Lewis singled up the middle, and Scarlet McSwain got to home base giving Tennessee its first score of the game. Immediately after, Rainey Gaffin got a home run and scored alongside teammate Lewis.
Annie Aldrete scored first in the third inning by a homerun down left field. A commanding triple to center field by McSwain led her to third base before teammate Cheyanne Tarango singled right side to lead McSwain home.
The fourth inning is where Tennessee put the game out of reach. Megan Geer started the fourth with a homerun to center field. Following this score, Aldrete homered to right field, she and teammate Meghan Gregg were able to score. McSwain entered the game and went for a double down left field allowing Taylor Koenig to get home. Lexi Overstreet singled to right field sending Tarango to second base and McSwain scored Tennessee’s last point.
During the fifth inning, the Bucs were not able to score, resulting in defeat.
Behind the game was a great pitching performance by Tennessee’s Erin Gabriel. Gabriel pitched the 13th perfect game in program history, and the second no-hitter of her career.
“We didn’t strike out a lot. But we didn’t get any hits our way,” said Irwin.
“We have to come to the next game with a better approach to the play and see if we can’t find a way to get some baserunners to give a chance to score some.
“We’re just going to have to focus on doing a little small ball to get ourselves a chance to have some baserunners.”
With the win, No. 15 Tennessee extended its win streak versus in-state opponents to 82 games.
The Lady Vols (22-7) are 111-3 all-time versus in-state opponents. There will be a rematch on April 14 at 6 p.m. in Buccaneer territory.
ETSU’s next game will be Saturday, March 28, against Chattanooga at Betty Basler Field in Johnson City.