Four Lady Vols on ASA title team

STRATFORD, Conn. – Rising seniors Megan Rhodes, Tonya Callahan and Shannon Doepking as well as sophomore Nicole Kajitani of the Tennessee Lady Vol softball team recently contributed in the Virginia Legends' run to the 23-Under Amateur Softball Association (ASA) National Championship.

Rhodes recorded a 2-0 mark from the circle with a team-best 0.76 ERA and 26 strikeouts over 18.1 frames of work.

Callahan hit .389 (7-of-20) with a double and a squad-high six RBI, and Kajitani also registered a .389 average (7-of-20) with four runs scored as all three players were chosen to the ASA 23-Under All-American Tournament Team.

Doepking contributed three hits and a pair of RBI to the offensive effort as the Virginia Legends tallied an event-best 5-1 mark.

The squad opened the ASA 23-Under National Tournament with a 5-0 triumph over the Connecticut Classics, behind a Rhodes one-hitter with 16 strikeouts and an RBI from Doepking.

The run of success was briefly interrupted in a 6-0 blanking by the Frozen Ropes ( White Plains, N.Y.) and rising Texas A&M senior Amanda Scarborough.

The Legends climbed back into the win column as the current Tennessee Lady Vols knocked in all three runs in a 3-0 victory over the Morris County Belles.

Rhodes again was dominant from the circle by firing six frames of one-hit work with six Ks to pick up her second win. Callahan delivered a perfect 3-for-3 effort with a pair of RBI. Doepking was 1-of-2 with an RBI, and Kajitani contributed a 2-for-4 performance with two runs scored.

The roll through the tourney continued as Callahan went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Kajitani 1-of-4 with a run scored in a 3-0 win over the Stratford Brakettes.

Revenge was in order during Virginia's fifth contest as a base knock from Callahan plated Kajitani with the eventual game-winning run in the first inning as the Legends outlasted the Frozen Ropes, 1-0, to reach the title game.

In the national championship contest, Rhodes allowed one earned run over four innings of work with three Ks in a no-decision before giving way to current Virginia Tech senior hurler Angela Tincher.

Forced into an extra-inning tiebreaker, Callahan came through in the clutch for the Legends by knocking in the game-winning RBI in the eighth frame of a 3-2 triumph over the Brakettes. Doepking was 1-for-4 at the dish while Kajitani drew a pair of walks.

The event drew a number of top players from NCAA Division I softbal. In addition to Tennessee's Rhodes, Callahan, Doepking and Kajitani, Virginia Tech's Tincher and Texas A&M's Scarborough participated. High-profile names also selected to the All-American Tournament Team included Arizona State pitcher Katie Burkhart, LSU's Killian Roessner and Mississippi State's Courtney Bures.

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