KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A three-run homer by James Madison redshirt senior Kate Gordon made the difference as the No. 9-seeded Lady Vols fell 3-1 to the 22nd-ranked Dukes on Saturday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. Tennessee will gear up for an elimination game tonight against the winner between Eastern Kentucky and No. 25 Liberty, with first pitch scheduled for 35 minutes after the conclusion of that contest.
JMU ace Odicci Alexander pitched a complete-game effort to lead the Dukes (36-1) to their 26th consecutive victory. In seven innings pitched, she allowed one earned run on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Ashley Rogers was dealt the loss with three unearned runs allowed. The Athens, Tennessee, native pitched six innings, collecting seven strikeouts and allowing no walks for the second-straight game in postseason play.
Six Lady Vols recorded one hit each on the afternoon, with senior first baseman Ashley Morgan driving in the lone run on an RBI single in the first inning.
Hitting as the visiting team in front of a home crowd, the Lady Vols (42-14) used back-to-back singles from a couple of All-SEC players to gain an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the opening frame. Sophomore outfielder Kiki Milloy knocked a hit through the middle, stole second and was sent home by Ashley Morgan’s RBI single to center field.
The Dukes capitalized on a pair of Tennessee miscues to score three runs in the bottom of the second. With two runners on by way of a fielding error and HBP, Gordon lifted a pitch to left center for a three-run shot off the scoreboard.
After giving up the home run, Rogers went on to retire the side in order three times in her final four innings in the circle. In the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Vol ace got out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the game in reach with a called strikeout.
UT had its opportunities over the final five innings, but ultimately left six runners on base during that stretch.
Tennessee will play an elimination game against the winner between Eastern Kentucky and No. 25 Liberty for a spot in the Knoxville Regional final. First pitch for tonight’s matchup will fire 35 minutes after the conclusion of the contest between the Colonels and Flames.