Stats/Story: Rogers Deals, #12 Lady Vols Defeat #8 Northwestern; Finish 3-0 in Clearwater, FL Tournament

Stats/Story: Rogers Deals, #12 Lady Vols Defeat #8 Northwestern; Finish 3-0 in Clearwater, FL Tournament

Box Score

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Behind a 13-strikeout outing from graduate Ashley Rogers and a pair of early home runs by senior Kiki Milloy and freshman Taylor Pannell, the 12th-ranked Lady Vols cruised past No. 8 Northwestern Sunday morning in their final game of the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
Tennessee (3-0) set the tone early as Milloy smoked the game’s first pitch over the wall in left to quickly open a 1-0 lead over the Wildcats. UT added to the lead in the top of the fourth when Pannell roped her first-career home run to left center.
With Tennessee leading 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Northwestern threatened to score as it loaded up the bases with two outs on three consecutive singles. Having fanned the first two hitters of the inning, Rogers locked in and struck out NU’s Maeve Nelson to end the threat and preserve the shutout.
In the sixth, the Lady Vols added to their lead, pushing four runs across the plate. Mackenzie Donihoo drove home three runs on a double to center and then came home to score off a McKenna Gibson sacrifice fly. Donihoo finished the day 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, a double and a run scored.
In the circle, Rogers was electric as she kept Northwestern (1-1) off the board – tossing a complete-game shutout. The Athens, Tennessee, native held the Wildcats’ 4-9 hitters hitless as they went a combined 0-for-14 against the Lady Vols’ righty.
The win is Rogers’ second of the season and her 20th career solo shutout – breaking a tie with pitching coach Megan Rhodes Smith for fifth all-time in program history.
For the weekend, Rogers tossed 12 innings, allowed just two runs, surrendered two walks and struck out 18.
The Lady Vols scored 36 runs on opening weekend and hit .392 as a team. Tennessee collected 31 hits, including three doubles, one triple and six homers.
Donihoo, a transfer from Oklahoma, hit .714 on the weekend and finished 5-for-7 at the plate with four runs scored, a pair of doubles and three RBIs.
Behind the dish, Giulia Koutsoyanopulos caught every game and was 3-for-7 at bat. The Arizona transfer hit .429 and scored two runs.
Several Tennessee freshmen made an immediate impact for the Lady Vols in the first weekend of the season. Pannell highlighted the class in Clearwater, starting all three games for UT and hitting 3-for-8 (.375) at the plate. The Milan, Illinois, native hit her first-career home run on Sunday against Northwestern and finished the weekend with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Tennessee goes international next weekend as it travels to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for the Puerto Vallarta Challenge. The Lady Vols will face Sacramento State, North Dakota State, Cal State Fullerton and Liberty along Mexico’s Pacific coast.

-UT Athletics

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