Softball to host classic Oct. 20-21

Following a second-place national finish at the Women's College World Series and a record-setting 63-8 record in 2007, the UT softball squad prepares to open both a new campaign and the new Sherri Parker Lee Softball Stadium by serving as host of the annual fall Tennessee Lady Vol Classic over Oct. 20-21.

Seven teams, including the Big Orange, will participate in the event to christen the new facility with the Orange & White matching up against Milligan (9 a.m.), Volunteer State (11 a.m.) and Western Kentucky (5 p.m.) on Saturday and Chipola (11 a.m.), Methodist (1 p.m.) and Walters State (7 p.m.) on Sunday.

Admission is free to all of the contests.

The Lady Vols welcome back 12 letterwinners and five position starters from last season's record-setting run to Oklahoma City. Among the group returning to Rocky Top is two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American senior Tonya Callahan (.385, 16 doubles, 11 HRs, 60 RBI in 2007), UT's career home run leader (35).

Also returning are senior catcher Shannon Doepking, a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 2007 after hitting .278 with eight doubles, six HRs, 28 RBI, sophomore utility player and 2007 SEC All-Freshman choice Tiffany Huff (.339, 11 doubles, six HRs, 58 RBI), senior second baseman Kenora Posey (.272, 29 stolen bases) and junior first-team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American Lillian Hammond (.414, .469 on-base percentage, 14 stolen bases).

With the departure of four-time NFCA All-American hurler Monica Abbott, UT will look to experienced senior pitcher Megan Rhodes (13-3, 1.50 ERA, 186 Ks in 2007) for big contributions and leadership from the circle. Junior Danielle Pieroni and freshman Ashton Ward (Charlotte, N.C.) will be counted on to provide pitching support.

The lineup for Saturday's games are: 9 a.m., Tennessee vs. Milligan; 11 a.m., Tennessee vs. Vol St.; 1 p.m., Vol St. vs. Chipola; 3 p.m., Milligan vs. Chipola; 5 p.m., Tennessee vs. Western Kentucky; 7 p.m. Milligan vs. Vol St.; 9 p.m., Western Kentucky vs. Chipola;

The lineup for Sunday's games are: 9 a.m., Methodist vs. Vol St; 11 a.m., Tennessee vs. Chipola; 1 p.m., Tennessee vs. Methodist; 3 p.m., Western Kentucky vs. Methodist; 5 p.m., Western Kentucky vs. Walters St.; 7 p.m., Tennessee vs. Walters State.

All times are Eastern, and there will be a one hour and 45 minute time limit on games.

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