KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A career pitching night by junior ace Ashley Rogers lifted No. RV/23/24 Tennessee past a determined Illinois State team, 3-0, on Wednesday night at Sherri Parker Lee.
Rogers fanned 17 batters, which ties for the second-best performance in the nation this season, as she worked her way through a no-hitter through 5.0 innings. The hallmark was one strikeout shy of tying for the eighth-best single-game performance in program history – achieved on six occasions and only by Monica Abbott.
“Ashley was the story tonight,” said co-head coach Karen Weekly of the Athens, Tenn., native. “It’s good to come off a weekend like we had with so many games for her to get some rest and come out incredibly strong like she did today.”
Rogers, who sat out all of the 2020 season due to a temporary injury, leads the Lady Vols pitching corps with a 0.50 ERA and 4-1 record. The righthander has recorded 52 strikeouts, which is the second most in the country at the moment.
While UT relied on Rogers’ stuff, the Redbirds ace Morgan Day was impressive in her own right making it difficult for the Lady Vols to get on base. She retired five batters at the plate in 5.0 innings and gave up just two walks.
“That’s a really good team with Day on the mound,” said Weekly. “We knew tonight was going to be a pitcher’s duel. We have faced some really good pitchers. It doesn’t matter what the name is on your chest.”
After two scoreless innings, the Lady Vols brought in the first run on an RBI single from senior shortstop Ivy Davis (2-for-2), who has reached base each of the nine games this season, to get Kaitlin Parsons (1-for-3) across the plate.
Sophomore Kiki Milloy (1-for-3) led off the third with a no-doubter to double the score quickly and give UT some insurance and then Davis came home off the bat of junior catcher Ally Shipman (1-for-3) in the bottom of the fifth to round out scoring.
“I was pretty pleased with what we did at the plate,” Weekly added. “We knew tonight was going to tough.”
The Lady Vols tallied eight hits, but left seven runners on base.
Up Next: UT opens its slate of the Tennessee Invitational tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. ET, facing UT-Martin. The Lady Vols will also see Northern Kentucky (12:30 p.m.) and Central Michigan (3 p.m.) on Saturday, before concluding the four-day tournament against the Chippewas at noon.
All contests that include Tennessee will be broadcast on the SECN+, except for Wednesday’s solo matchup with Illinois State. Thursday’s outing will be called by Michael Wottreng (PxP). Saturday’s games will be covered by Madison Shipman (Analysis) and Will Boling (PxP) and Sunday’s contest will pair up Shipman and Wottreng.