Photos/Postgame/Stats/Story: 4-seed Lady Vols steam roll 5-seed Crimson Tide in game one of the WCWS, 10-5

Photos/Postgame/Stats/Story: 4-seed Lady Vols steam roll 5-seed Crimson Tide in game one of the WCWS, 10-5

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Smashing two multi-run home runs, the fourth-ranked Lady Vols rolled past the Crimson Tide on Thursday in their first game of the 2023 Women’s College World Series, 10-5, at OGE Energy Field.
Tennessee’s (50-8) bottom half of the lineup was exceptional in the victory. The six through nine hitters – freshman Jamison Brockenbrough, junior Giulia Koutsoyanopulos, freshman Destiny Rodriguez and sophomore Katie Taylor – combined for five of UT’s 11 hits on the day.

Brockenbrough mashed a two-run home run, while Rodriguez and Taylor each went 2-for-3 at the plate. All four players scored a run with Taylor adding a two-out two-run double.
Ashley Rogers got the start in the circle and earned the win – her 19th of the year. The graduate pitcher tossed four innings, allowing two runs on three hits with one strikeout. Senior Payton Gottshall came on in relief for the game’s final three innings. She allowed three runs on four hits but picked up the three-inning save.
Alabama (45-21) scattered seven hits against the Lady Vols with Jenna Johnson and Kenleigh Cahalan going 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively. The Tide started Jaala Torrence in the circle. She surrendered six runs – two earned – on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Alex Salter threw just an inning in relief, giving up four runs on three hits. Lauren Esman tossed the final 2.2 innings for Alabama and was able to hold UT off the scoreboard.
Taylor jump-started Tennessee’s offense in the second, driving in a pair of runs on a two-out double to right center field. She turned the lineup over for leadoff hitter Kiki Milloy who drew an intentional walk.
With runners on first and second, Zaida Puni roped a double to left center, plating Taylor and Milloy for UT’s third and fourth runs in the inning.
Alabama cut the lead in half with a pair of runs in the third – scoring both with two outs in the frame.
The Lady Vols got both runs back in the home half of the inning courtesy of Brockenbrough’s two-run home run to straightaway center field. The homer was her second of the season and put UT up 6-2 after three innings.
In the fourth, Tennessee added four runs to its lead with a McKenna Gibson one-run double to score Milloy for the frame’s first run. That brought Rylie West to the plate with two runners on. She launched the first pitch of the at-bat deep into the stands in left field for a three-run home run – her fifth homer of the season and second in the NCAA Tournament.
The Crimson Tide fought off the potential run rule by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth –cutting UT’s lead to six. Alabama added a fifth run in the sixth inning off a solo homer from Marlie Giles.
Tennessee advances to face No. 1 overall seed Oklahoma on Saturday – the Sooners defeated Stanford 2-0 on Thursday in their first game of the 2023 WCWS. First pitch on Saturday is slated for 3 p.m. ET and will air nationally on ABC.

-UT Athletics

Lady Vols / Credit: UT Athletics

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