KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT Sports) - No. 12-seeded Tennessee came out on top, 2-0, in yet another pitcher's duel against North Carolina in the NCAA Knoxville Regional final on Sunday to advance to the program's 11th Super Regional.
Caylan Arnold spun a gem of a shutout in the circle, throwing 6.0 innings to pick up her 10th win of the season. In the seventh inning, the Orange and White called on Matty Moss to deliver one final shutout frame.
In the start, Arnold allowed just four hits and struck out six while Moss earned her fourth save of the year and fanned two of her three batters. The duo did not allow a runner to advance past second base.
At the plate, Tennessee was led by Kaili Phillips (2-for-2) and Aubrey Leach (2-for-3) who each totaled two hits while Ashley Morgan came up clutch in a key situation, drilling a two-RBI single to center field to give UT the lead.
The Lady Vols (42-15) went 4-1 on the weekend to advance to the Gainesville Super Regional where they will face the Florida Gators this coming weekend. To start SEC play back in March, UT took the series at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium and looks to repeat for a trip to the 2019 Women's College World Series.
After a quiet first inning, North Carolina moved runners into scoring position in the second and third frame. The Tarheels relied on a hit-by-pitch and bunt single to get runners on. In both situations, UNC then sacrifice bunted the runners to second but were held scoreless by UT.
Likewise, the Lady Vols moved runners into scoring position in the bottom of the two frames.
In the second stanza, Haley Bearden hit a one-out single to center and advanced to second on one of Phillips' singles before the inning ended with a strikeout. Again, with one out in the third, Tennessee put runners on second third thanks to back-to-back hits from Leach and Jenna Holcomb. The pair was left stranded as a strikeout and flyout to left were recorded.
In the fifth inning, the Lady Vols broke open the shutout, scoring two runs on two hits. Holcomb first reached base on a fielder's choice and then advanced to second on Chelsea Seggern's walk. With runners on first and second, Ashley Morgan roped a two-RBI double center field, giving Tennessee its first lead of the day.
It wasn't until the top of the seventh inning that North Carolina put another runner in scoring position as Berlynne Delamora led off with a double. UT turned to Moss for the save and the Greeneville, S.C., native delivered, retiring her three batters faced.
The Super Regional against Florida will either take place on Thursday-Saturday or Friday-Sunday. Details will be released once all Regional competition is finished on Sunday. All updates will be posted to UTSports.com, Twitter (@Vol_Softball) and Facebook (Facebook.com/TennesseeSoftball).
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