Defense propels Lady Vols past Oklahoma State

Tennessee stays alive in the Women’s College World Series.
Tennessee stays alive in the Women’s College World Series.
Tennessee stays alive in the Women’s College World Series.(Tennessee Athletics)
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 9:43 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Lady Vols entered their first elimination game against Oklahoma State after getting shut out by the Oklahoma Sooners in their second game of the Women’s College World Series. Tennessee would prevail against the Cowgirls, winning 3-1.

Ashley Rogers got her second start at the WCWS and tossed a complete game, comprised of three strikeouts, four hits, and one run. The Lady Vols already matched their offensive production against OSU after Kiki Milloy singled to right center. But, the Lady Vols were far from finished.

The top of the second inning started strong, Rogers tossed her first strikeout, then Milloy went airborne for diving out in center field. After a Cowgirls base hit and walk the third out came by a pop-up to Rogers to close the frame.

In the bottom of the third, Milloy walked and then stole second with Zaida Puni in the batter’s box. Next pitch, Puni took it deep to right field off the outfield wall and Milloy sprinted past third and crossed home plate with ease to get the Lady Vols on the board first. That was Puni’s 59th RBI on the season and 14th of the NCAA Tournament.

Deep in the third, Rylie West at the plate with two on, lines one up the left side just past the glove of the shortstop and rolled into the outfield, allowing Katie Taylor to come home from second base. The RBI single made it 2-0 Lady Vols with one out on the board.

Mackenzie Donihoo batted next and was walked to get the bases loaded with one out. Jamison Brockenbrough followed, but a long slap rolled right to the pitcher Shakara Goodloe is out at home on a fielder’s choice but they couldn’t complete the double play, two outs. A similar play happened when Destiny Rodriguez was up to bat, she got out at first and Tennessee strands bases loaded.

In the next inning, Oklahoma State’s Micaela Wark got a base hit before Tallen Edwards doubled to right field. Wark rounded third but Rodriguez beamed it Giulia Koutsoyanopulos who got Wark out the plate to keep the Cowgirls off the board.

In the bottom of the fifth, Rylie West went to steal second, the toss out of the glove of the second baseman and it was enough for Puni to score from third. The error pushed Tennessee ahead 3-0 with one out.

On OSU’s fourth hit on the game, Morgyn Wynne took Rogers deep to left field and over the fence for their first run of the game, 3-1 Lady Vols in the top of the sixth inning. Rogers struck out the next batter to close the frame, her third of the night.