Megan Rhodes picks up first 2008 win

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Faced with its initial adversity of the young season, No. 6 Tennessee (2-0) responded to the challenge by rallying from two runs down to post a 5-2 victory over UC-Davis on a chilly Friday night at the Cathedral City Kickoff.

Senior pitcher Megan Rhodes picked up her first win of the campaign by striking out 11 in a complete-game. The Nashville native allowed two runs, only one earned, on two hits in the matchup.

Offensively, senior third baseman Tonya Callahan knocked in a pair of tallies on a fourth inning single to grant UT the lead and improve her total to five RBI through the first two games of the 2008 season. Freshman designated player Jen Lapicki (1-of-2) hammered her first collegiate home run, and junior left fielder Lillian Hammond (1-of-4) also contributed an RBI single in the match-up.

"UC-Davis' pitcher Jessica Hancock was extremely good tonight," Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "She beat three good Pac 10 teams last season, so she's very capable in the circle. She was on tonight and had an umpire behind the plate with the perfect strike zone to maximize her effectiveness.

"We faced a tremendous challenge by getting down 2-0 and responded by coming back to win, 5-2. The coaching staff is extremely proud of the whole team for that comeback. There were a lot of heroes.

"In today's opener against Utah State, it was neat to see Ashton Ward and Danielle Pieroni get in some good innings, and the team continue to evolve as an offensive threat. Overall, we thought Jen Lapicki hit very well in her collegiate debut, and all the freshmen played pretty well."

Rhodes opened her initial action of the 2008 campaign in quite a zone by striking out UC-Davis center fielder Trish Paine, shortstop Julie Stauder and designated player Erin Emde in order to conclude an utterly dominant top of the first inning.

No. 6 Tennessee will begin its second day of the Cathedral City Kickoff at 12:30 p.m. PT on Saturday versus No. 20 Oregon at Big League Dreams Sports Park.

Periodic updates will be provided on the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (box #6).

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