Softball runs record to 5-0 in California

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – No. 6 Tennessee's dominant run through the Cathedral City Kickoff ended successfully Sunday as the Big Orange routed the No. 18 Oregon State Beavers (2-3) by a score of 8-1, to improve to a perfect 5-0 on the season.

The Lady Vols have now won 12 of their last 16 games against the powerful Pac-10 Conference including Saturday's 5-0 win over No. 20 Oregon.

Sophomore center fielder Anita Manuma and freshman first baseman Jen Lapicki each homered against Oregon State and knocked in a pair of tallies to lead the 12-hit offensive assault. Freshman pitcher Ashton Ward threw six innings in relief of starter Megan Rhodes, improving to 3-0 on the year after allowing three hits and no runs with four Ks.

During the weekend, UT outscored its opposition 34-3, hit .365 as a team, blasted four home runs and stole 15 bases in 15 attempts. The pitching staff posted a combined 0.45 ERA, struck out 38 in 31 innings of work and held opposing teams to a measly .125 batting average.

Offensively, senior catcher Shannon Doepking was outstanding at the plate during the five-game stay in California by hitting .467 (7-of-15) with a double and seven RBI.

Table-setters Kenora Posey (.462) and Lillian Hammond (.444) combined for 14 total hits, 11 runs scored and 10 steals. Sophomore right fielder Erinn Webb hit .429 (6-of-14), and sophomore utility player Tiffany Huff knocked in two runs as part of a .417 effort.

In their initial collegiate weekend, Lapicki was incredible by hitting .313 with two home runs and five RBI, while second baseman Chandra Mogan hit .400 with two RBI.

Two-time All-American senior third baseman Tonya Callahan added to her school record home run total (36) with a three-run blast during UT's opener against Utah State.

From the circle, Ward, junior Danielle Pieroni (2.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 Ks) and senior Megan Rhodes (2-0, 13.0 IP, 1.08 ERA, 20 Ks) combined to go 5-0 with a 0.45 ERA. Ward delivered a dominating 3-0 weekend with a 0.00 ERA and two wins over ranked Pac 10 teams while hurling 16 innings.

"We are extremely proud of our team for their performance in this tough tournament," Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "We need to go to work as coaches and correct a lot of little things that will make us a better team. Every player contributed in a lot of ways. This was a full team effort."

No. 6 Tennessee will next travel to Tampa, Fla., for the USF Best Western Tournament on Feb. 16-18. During its stay at the event, the Big Orange will face Florida Gulf Coast, Hofstra, USF, Mississippi and Florida A&M.

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