Tonya Callahan sets HR record

Senior third baseman Tonya Callahan blasted her 16th home run of the season to break a 12-year old single-season school record and guide No. 10 Tennessee to a commanding 9-1 victory over Austin Peay in the opener of a Tuesday doubleheader at the Lee Softball Stadium. Tennessee won the second game, 14-1, also in five innings.

The reigning Louisville Slugger/NFCA National and Southeastern Conference Player of the Week hammered her three run shot as part of a four-tally bottom of the third.

The Holden, Mo., native's four total hits over the past five games have all been home runs, a trio of three-run bombs and a solo HR. Freshman first baseman Jen Lapicki contributed two RBIs while going 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored in the triumph. Junior left fielder Lillian Hammond added a pair of base hits and an RBI, while sophomore catcher Tiffany Huff went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Freshman Kelly Grieve and sophomore Nicole Kajitani both delivered 1-for-2, one-RBI efforts for Tennessee 's 10-hit attack.

Freshman Ashton Ward drew the start, allowing one run on two hits over three innings with four strikeouts, improving to 25-3 on the campaign. Senior pitcher Megan Rhodes fired two innings of one-hit relief with a strikout to contain a brief Lady Gov rally and secure the victory.

In the second game, Lapicki guided the Lady Vols' 14-hit attack with a 2-for-2, four-RBI, two-run scored effort. Sophomore center fielder Erinn Webb (1-for-2) contributed an RBI single and a run-scoring groundout.

Freshman right fielder Kelly Grieve equaled former All-American Lindsay Schutzler's freshman single season record for stolen bases with her 16th while going 2-for-4 at the plate with two tallies. Senior shortstop Kenora Posey added a 2-for-2 performance with two thefts, granting her a team-best 37 this season in 41 attempts.

In her only at-bat before giving way to younger players, senior third baseman Tonya Callahan delivered a single and her team-high 58th RBI of the campaign.

By allowing just one run on three hits and striking out four in three innings of work, freshman Ashton Ward improved to 26-3 overall. Senior Megan Rhodes struck out three during two no-hit frames of relief to complete the sweep of the Lady Govs.

"We played good ball tonight," Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "We got a lot of base hits and managed to get a lot of our younger players into the games. Karen (co-head coach Weekly) and I were really proud of Tonya Callahan for breaking the school single-season home run record on the day she was named NFCA National Player of the Week.

"Jen Lapicki is really developing into a first-class player who's going to be a force for years to come. I thought Lillian Hammond really played well today in all phases of the game."

Callahan, the two-time All-American currently leads the SEC in batting average (.461), slugging percentage (.906), on-base percentage (.619), total bases (116) and home runs (15) while rating second in RBI (54) counting all games contested.

Taking into account just SEC matchups only, Callahan ranks first in batting average (.500), slugging percentage (1.196) and on-base percentage (.693), is second in home runs (10) and third in RBI (22). She also guides the league in walks with 45, 26 in conference play, and has been intentionally walked 14 times.

No. 10 Tennessee (45-9, 13-8) heads to the road for the final time during the 2008 regular season this weekend with a trip to Starkville , Miss., over April 26-27 to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a three-game conference set. First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is slated for 2 p.m. ET.


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