With two outs trailing by one, up against the No. 1 team in the country, junior infielder Lexi Allen watched her hit fall into the glove of the second baseman. Ball game.
The 2013 NCAA Softball Championship runners up, University of Tennessee left the field shaken after only managing one run against the Georgia Southern University softball team. ESPN dropped the Volunteers from No. 1 down to No. 5 after the near loss.
After 16 games of building momentum, the Eagles are getting a second chance to upset the now-No. 3 Volunteers in the Tennessee Tournament this weekend.
Senior Shelby Morrill will be looking to redeem herself against Tennessee. In the first meeting Morrill took the plate three times and was struck out, grounded out and flew out. Since that weekend Morrill has a .319 average with three homeruns and 13 RBIs.
GSU will have to collectively have better results against senior Volunteer pitcher Ellen Renfroe. In their first matchup Renfroe allowed only two hits and struck out 10 Eagle batters. The rest of her season has followed suit with a 0.71 ERA, put away 76 batters, and has been credited with nine wins and no losses.
Senior Eagle pitcher Sarah Purvis will have to improve upon her already impressive performance from the last contest. Purvis allowed four hits with 10 strikeouts, but gave up what would become the game-winning homerun. Momentum has been building for Purvis, who has achieved a .79 ERA and 67 strikeouts including a no-hitter against Troy last weekend.
At bat, the Volunteers have dominated their opponents. Senior Madison Shipman is hitting .396 through 48 at-bats with six homeruns and 16 RBIs. Freshman infielder Megan Geer has been the rock for her Volunteers, boasting a .423 batting average with 10 RBIs in 52 at-bats.
The Volunteers were forced to sit at home last weekend due to inclement weather. They will be fired up coming off of their first loss of the season against unranked Brigham Young University.
Statistically the Volunteers beat out the Eagles in nearly every category. They have averaged 6.31 runs per game and have six players batting over .300. Historically, the Eagles have shown up as underdogs in big games and shocked several teams. This was seen in the 4-0 beat down of 30th-ranked University of Wisconsin two weeks ago.
The underdog Eagles are on a hot streak after winning the Eagle Classic over the weekend. On Sunday they will have to wake up early and battle Western Kentucky University but conserve their energy to turn around and face Tennessee in the afternoon.
It will be a busy weekend for the Eagles as they compete in the Tennessee Tournament. They will first have to go through Campbell University, Holy Cross College and WKU before getting their swing at Tennessee. The two teams will take the mound in the second game of the afternoon at 2 p.m.