Softballers shut out by VPI

A squeeze play in the third inning resulted in the lone run of the contest Wednesday night in Bristol as Virginia Tech's softball team nipped Tennessee 1-0 in the annual State-Line Classic.

The Hokies (18-25) claimed the event for the fifth consecutive year and sent Tennessee (39-19) to its sixth straight loss and fourth shutout defeat in succession. Rookie hurler Katie Maynard (9-11) surrendered just two singles as the Lady Vols' scoreless streak reached 29 frames, while UT freshman Stacey Jennings (Aurora, Colo.) fell to 18-12 with her fourth 1-0 setback in a row.

Senior Blaine Teasley (Tucson, Ariz.) poked a single into center field to begin the third and later stole second base with one down. After freshman Katherine Card (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) grounded out, rookie Kristi Durant (Placentia, Calif.) drew her second walk of the game from Maynard to give the Lady Vols a pair of runners aboard. However, sophomore Amber Rhinehart (Citrus Heights, Calif.) would line out to Tech junior Shanel Garofalo to keep the game scoreless.

In the bottom of the third, VT freshman Callie Rhodes earned a one-out base on balls from Jennings and classmate Kelly Brown launched a double to right center field for a pair of runners in scoring position. Junior Mindi Wylie came through with a suicide squeeze to plate Rhodes with the initial run and chased Jennings from the circle. Senior Stephanie Humphrey (Knoxville, Tenn.) was able to induce pop-ups by Garofalo and sophomore Megan Evans to hold the deficit at a run. The right-hander would later set down the Hokies one-two-three the next inning, as each batter was caught looking on strikes.

The Maroon and Orange threatened again in the fifth, when Brown ripped a base-hit up the middle with two out and then swiped second base. Wylie earned a free pass but Brown was picked off on a relay from Durant to freshman second baseman Mandie Fishback (Banks, Ore.) over to Teasley covering third.

Maynard struck out six and walked two in tossing her 10th complete game of the spring and third solo shutout. Meanwhile, Humphrey worked 3.2 frames in which she allowed one hit, a walk with four punch-outs. Junior Lauren Mattox (Charlotte, N.C.) and Teasley each had a hit for Ralph and Karen Weekly's club.

Tennessee will resume Southeastern Conference action on Saturday when it hosts No. 10 Georgia (47-9). The clubs will play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Tyson Park.

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