That… was not an ideal start to SEC play, y’all.
In Game One of the double header on Sunday morning, Tiger pitchers were hit early, and … really often, falling in six innings to the Lady Vols, 14-3. With Jordan Weber tabbed to start, fans would think the Tigers could make this into a pitcher’s duel against Texas Tech transfer Erin Edmoundson, but it was not the case. Jo only lasted 2⁄3 of an inning after allowing a couple doubles and a three run shot to Zelda Puni (a name to monitor), and was replaced by Megan Schumacher. Schumacher herself had a tough go, giving up four earned on five hits in her 3.2 innings of work. She struck out two and walked two, before being replaced by Emma Nichols, who allowed six earned runs in her 1.2 innings. All in all, not a great start to the day for Tiger pitching, and they’ll look to Krings to even the series in Game Two.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth inning that the Tigers got any runs on the board, and those would be the only ones they got. Jeff City native Kara Daly hit her sixth bomb of the year on a solo shot to right, and Frizell followed a few batters later with a two run shot of her own to left center, her second of the season, making it 6-3. But mostly, Edmoundson was able to limit damage, and only allowed four hits in her complete game effort, walking three — I told you guys she has an issue with this — and striking out three. Aside from the home runs, Jenna Laird was the only Tiger to have much success against the Vols’ ace, getting two hits.
The Vols answered with three of their own in the top of the fifth, putting the game even more out of reach on an inside the park home run by Kiki Milloy to center that was badly played by Brooke Wilmes. For extra, extra insurance, the Lady Vols added five more in the sixth, and that was really all she wrote. The aforementioned Zaida Puni beat up on the Tigers, with three hits, a walk, and three RBI, while Lair Beautae had three hits of her own, to go along with two RBI. Leadoff hitter Kiki Milloy got going as the game went on, and ended up with two hits, five RBI, and a walk.
Was it Jordan Weber’s extensive time off that led to some early issues? And really, could the same be said for Emma Nichols, who never got into the Tigers’ previous series due to Krings’ great pitching outings? Or is Tennessee really that good? I guess we’ll see as the season progresses, but the Tigers will be looking to even the score in Game Two, which should be kicking off here soon.