Tigers drilled by Lady Vols in DH

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- In front of a record crowd on Saturday afternoon at Tyson Park, the 11th-ranked LSU softball team dropped a doubleheader at No. 6 Tennessee, falling 4-0 in the first game and 10-1 in five innings in the second game.

The losses dropped the Tigers to 48-11 on the season and 21-8 in Southeastern Conference play. The Lady Volunteers improved to 50-8 overall and 21-8 in league action. LSU is now tied with Tennessee for third place in the league standings as the pair play on Sunday in the final game of the series for the third seed in the SEC Tournament. The game will be televised on ESPNU at noon (CT).

"We've got to figure out a way to play better when we come to Tennessee," said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. "Tomorrow is another day and hopefully the real Tiger team will show up. It just wasn't a very good day for us today."

Three unearned runs hurt the Tigers' cause in the first game as the Lady Vols used an error in the second inning to build a 4-0 lead. LSU had chances in the first, fourth and seventh innings, but could not capitalize with runs on the scoreboard.

In the second game, Tennessee erupted for five runs in the first inning and added five more in the bottom of the fourth to earn its first run-rule win over the Tigers in the program's history. A leadoff solo home run by Killian Roessner, who led LSU with a 2-for-4 performance on the day, in the top of the third inning gave LSU its only run of the day.

In the first game, Tennessee took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Sarah Fekete led off with an infield single. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by India Chiles. After a walk to Lindsay Schutzler, Danielle Pieroni hit a long single off the center field wall that scored Fekete from second for the first run of the game.

In the top of the second, the Tigers had a chance to tie it up. Stephanie Hill was hit by a pitch to start the inning. With Dee Dee Henderson running for Hill at first, Henderson stole second. A sacrifice by Quinlan Duhon moved Henderson to third. On a squeeze bunt attempt by Andrea Smith, Henderson was picked off of third after Smith failed to make contact with the pitch.

A costly error helped the Lady Vols extend their lead in the bottom half of the inning. Jennifer Griffin led off with a walk. With one out and Alicia Brown, Sarah Vaughn reached on a fielding error off the glove of Lauren Delahoussaye at third base, allowing Brown to move to third and Vaughn to take second. With two outs and Natalie Brock pinch hitting for Chiles, Brock hit a three-run home run just inside the left field foul pole to give Tennessee the 4-0 advantage.

In the top of the fourth, LSU broke through with its first hit of the game on a single to left center by Vanessa Soto. The Tigers had its best chance of the game to get on the board in the top of the sixth. Roessner led off with a single to right field. With Heidi Robin running for Roessner, she moved to third on a single by Shannon Stein off the glove of Katherine Card at first base.

With runners at first and third and no outs, Robin attempted to score on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Harris after Harris was thrown out at first. On the play, Robin was called out at the plate, but replays showed that her foot had crossed the plate just ahead of the tag.

After coming on in relief of Emily Turner in the fourth inning, Megan Jolly shut the Tennessee offense down. The sophomore did not allow a hit with a strikeout in three innings of work. Turner started and took the loss and dropped to 22-6 on the season. She allowed four runs, one earned, on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in three innings.

Monica Abbott earned the complete-game win to improve to 35-6 on the season. She allowed four hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in the shutout.

In the second game, the Lady Vols came out and again took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Chiles singled up the middle. An infield single by Schutzler put runners on first and second. With two outs and runners on second and third, Brock walked. Card then singled to left field, scoring Chiles and Schutzler, before an error by Harris allowed Brock to take third and Card to move to second.

Griffin them drew a walk to load the bases once again. A double to left center by Shannon Doepking scored Brock and Card. Jolly then came on to replace Dani Hofer in the circle. Liane Horiuchi was hit by a pitch before an infield single by Fekete scored Griffin to run the score to 5-0 in favor of Tennessee.

In the top of the third, the Tigers got on the board. Killian Roessner led off with a home run down the left field line. It was the fifth homer of the season for the sophomore and cut the Lady Vol lead to 5-1.

Tennessee got the run back in the bottom of the fourth and added to its lead. Fekete led off with a bunt single on a very close play at first. With one out, Schutzler singled through the left side as Fekete moved to second. A single up the middle by Pieroni scored Fekete from second. With Brown running for Pieroni at first, Brock drew a walk to load the bases.

A single to right field by Card scored Schutzler from third. A double down the left field by Griffin scored two more run before a single by Doepking added the final run of the inning to give the Lady Vols the 10-1 advantage.

Hofer took the loss to fall to 15-5 on the season. She allowed five runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning. Jolly came on in relief and gave up five runs on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout in three and a third innings.

Megan Rhodes earned the win and improved to 15-2 on the year. She allowed one run on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in the complete-game effort.

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