KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s most consistent sports program is back in the NCAA Softball Tournament Super Regionals, two wins away from yet another Women’s College World Series.
The Lady Vols (47-10) beat Longwood (30-29) by a 3-0 count on Sunday afternoon after the game was postponed 2 1/2 hours on account of threatening weather.
Sophomore pitcher Matty Moss (25-2) was dominant for UT, fanning nine while allowing four hits with no walks.
Tennessee will play Texas A&M in the next round, with the Volunteers hosting. The Aggies defeated Texas on Sunday, 3-1.
This marks Tennessee’s ninth Super Regionals berth, and it marks the sixth time the Lady Vols have advanced to softball’s Sweet 16 when seeded No. 8 or higher. Tennessee made it to the Women’s College World Series each of the previous five occasions.
Tennessee sophomore leadoff hitter Aubrey Leach picked up where she left off on Saturday, opening Sunday’s game with a slap infield single, and then stealing second.
It was Leach who came through with the two-out, final inning 3-run home run that lifted the Lady Vols over USC-Upstate on Saturday in what Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly described the “greatest comeback” in the program’s history.
SEC Player of the Year Meghan Gregg has performed heroics thought the season, and her single into the left-center gap brought in Leach and make it 1-0 and give her 76 RBIs on the season.
Gregg made it 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning, blasting a solo home run that gave her 77 on the season, tying Tennessee’s single-season RBI record (Kristi Durant 2005, and Bridget Jackson 1995).
Jenna Holcomb singled to open the top of the seventh and scored when Brooke Vines ripped a shot up the middle, giving the Lady Vols a 3-0 advantage.
That was more than enough run support for Moss.