It was a pitching battle in front of a sellout crowd at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on Saturday evening as Tennessee (31-4, 4-3 SEC) downed Georgia (30-4, 7-3 SEC), 1-0.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Meghan Gregg was up to the plate with the bases loaded and an opportunity to win the game.
Gregg was hit by a pitch and brought in Tianna Batts for the only run of the game.
Georgia pitcher Brittany Gray, who was previously 15-0, dropped her first game in the circle this season.
Caylan Arnold started this defensive battle off as she set the tone for the game and struck out two batters in the top of the first inning.
“From the moment I get the ball back, I turn around and instantly think about the next pitch,” Arnold said.
Adding, “Trying to move forward and not trying to stay in the past … So I can stay 100 percent focused and pitch with 100 percent conviction every time.”
Matty Moss came in to relieve Arnold in the top of the fifth inning and pitched three innings allowing just one hit in the win.
“I was very confident going into this series,” Arnold said. “I know that you can’t work that hard and not pull something off … I was very proud of Matty for coming out behind me and being able to shut them down.”
The game defining play came in the top of the fourth inning when Scarlet McSwain jumped up and caught a fly ball that was a near-home run over the right field wall.
McSwain leaped up and caught the ball, firing it back to first base to disrupt the runner and cause a double-play for the Lady Vols. The play by McSwain saved a sure triple and held the game scoreless.
“Every single time we catch those balls we practice throwing them back in, too,” McSwain said.
Adding, “In a game like this it was more of a pitcher’s duel … our offense was struggling, but I’m glad we had the defense and the pitching to back it up.”
After dropping three straight games against South Carolina in Columbia last weekend, Ralph Weekly was glad to get out and get some confidence back.
“You know what happened last week, it couldn’t have been different,” Weekly said. “For Caylan Arnold to go out and start that game like that … it was great, it was the game plan we had.”
Written by: Caleb Souders
Edited by: Sam Forman