Lady Vols clinch the 2023 SEC Regular Season Title

Tennessee snags game two against South Carolina
Lady Vols, the 2023 Regular Season SEC Champions
Lady Vols, the 2023 Regular Season SEC Champions(wvlt)
Published: May. 6, 2023 at 8:54 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -The fourth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols clinched their second SEC regular-season title on Saturday, the program’s first since 2007, with a 4-2 victory over South Carolina.

In the Lady Vols final SEC series of the regular season, Tennessee secured its seventh conference series win and swept four in the process.

“It was great yeah, it was great. When you know to get an out like that when it’s so solidifying to know you got that for your team it was great,” said senior Kiki Milloy after making the final catch and out of the game.

Head Coach Karen Weekly added what this victory means to her, “I can’t even describe it. I am so happy for them. They’ve worked so hard. They’ve battled through ups and downs and this game was a game of ups and downs. But man they came out punching and I am so happy for them.”

Milloy opened the scoring in the first inning with her single-season record-breaking 20th home run, a solo shot to left field. The homer places Milloy all alone atop the single-season home run rankings, breaking the previous single-season mark of 19 held by Lauren Gibson and Annie Aldrete.

Tennessee claimed the title in comeback fashion. After the Gamecocks walked Kiki Milloy, Zaida Puni took the dish and did the damage. Puni blasted the pitch deep to left field bouncing off the scoreboard to record a three-run home run in the fifth inning to jump in front of the Gamecocks, 4-2.

Senior Payton Gottshall came out of the bullpen to start the sixth inning, tossing the game’s final two frames and shutting the door to help clinch UT’s conference title.

Lady Vol starter Karlyn Pickens stayed in the circle for five innings, striking out six batters in the process. The freshman surrendered just four hits and two runs en route to her ninth victory in 2023. Gottshall came on in relief in the sixth and did not allow a hit over the final two innings as she earned her second save this season.

Next, Tennessee and South Carolina return to the diamond on Sunday to close out the regular season. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m..