Softball team plays in tourney this weekend

The Lady Vol softball team is heading to the Botetourt Sports Complex in Troutville, Va., to participate in the Virginia Women's Fall Collegiate Softball Invitational & Military Appreciation Benefit Tournament over Sept. 24-25.

The Big Orange christens its stay at the event on Saturday with contests against Virginia Tech (2:30 p.m. ET) and Elon (5 p.m. ET) before wrapping up on Sunday with a doubleheader against James Madison (10 a.m. ET) and Longwood (12:30 p.m. ET).

Admission to the Military Appreciation Benefit Tournament is $5 for adults (18 & up) and $3 for youth (ages 7-17). Veterans and children ages 6 & under are admitted free with all proceeds going to the Military Family Support Center.

"We just started preseason practice on Tuesday, so we've only had a couple of team practices," Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "I really like our team this year. We have a lot of depth, which is good, and it will be tested immediately since Madison Shipman and Kat Dotson are unavailable and Raven Chavanne won't start because they are all recovering from off-season surgery. Raven may hit for us this weekend.

"We'll play the talent we have on the bench and add in impressive freshmen such as Cheyanne Tarango and Hannah Akamine.

"We are charting new waters in playing away from home during the fall. All four of this weekend's opponents are very competitive teams.

"Virginia Tech has virtually everyone back from last season as well as its No. 1 pitcher. Longwood was 37-13 overall last season and beat Georgia at the end of the regular season.

"Elon won 30 games last year, while James Madison was in Knoxville for NCAA Regionals recently and is always a tough game.

"We look at this as an opportunity for growth and plan on playing everyone available in the line-up. It should be an exciting weekend. We hope any Tennessee softball fans in the area will come out to support us."

This year's fall home schedule at Lee Softball Stadium includes a Thursday, Oct. 6, doubleheader against Western Kentucky (5 p.m. ET) and Chattanooga State (7 p.m. ET) and a Saturday, Oct. 22, double-dip versus Vol State (2 p.m. ET) and Tennessee Tech (4 p.m. ET).

Admission to all Lee Stadium contests is free to the public.

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