Softball Falls In NCAA Regional Opener To No. 10 Tennessee
May 20, 2004
Ann Arbor, Mich. - Southeastern Conference Pitcher and Freshman of the Year Monica Abbott posted her 33rd double-digit strikeout effort of the season, fanning 11 UIC batters to propel #10 Tennessee past the Flames 10-0 in five innings on Thursday afternoon at the NCAA Region VI Championships.
The seventh-seeded Flames (39-22) now drop into the loser's bracket of this double-elimination tournament and will take on #6 Bowling Green later this evening at 7:00 p.m. CST. The Falcons dropped a 6-0 decision to #3 Oregon State in the day's first game.
The Volunteers (54-14) advance to meet the Beavers tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. CST.
Abbott moved to 44-8 on the year with the win, posting her 23rd shutout of the year.
UIC senior and Horizon League Co-Pitcher of the Year Alison Aguilar was unable to match Abbott as she surrendered five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings of work, falling to 15-8 this season.
The Lady Vols wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, striking for two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Kristi Durant started the rally with an RBI single to center, which plated Lindsay Schutzler, who had reached first on a bunt single and then stole second. After a single and a walk loaded the bases, Lauren Maddox drew a walk to bring home Tennessee's second run.
UIC threatened in the top of the second inning, loading the bases with two outs. Abbott fanned the Flames' top hitter, junior Cameron Astiazaran, though, to get out of the jam.
The Lady Vols broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth with eight more runs for a 10-0 advantage.
Sarah Fekete drove in the first run with a single to center. That knock chased Aguilar from the game as the Flames went to reliever Alycia Creese.
Creese was unable to keep Tennessee's bats at bay as Shutzler delivered an RBI single, before Durant (3-for-3, 3 RBI) plated two more with a double to right-centerfield.
Angela Brewer made the score 7-0 with a single to score Durant.
Stacey Jennings drove in the Lady Vols eight run and then Mandie Fishback single to center which led to two more runs for the final 10-0 score.
Abbott broke the NCAA freshman strikeout record in the bottom of the first inning by fanning Horizon League Player of the Year Amanda Rivera. It was Abbott's 555th strikeout of the season.
The Flames will be back in action later this evening as they take on #6 Bowling Green in an elimination game at 7:00 p.m. CST. The Falcons dropped a 6-0 decision to #3 Oregon State earlier on Friday.