UT Softball set to open home stand

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The UT Softball team begins a seven-game home stand with a midweek game on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against Lipscomb.

It marks the first match-up between the programs since 2016 and is a chance for Tennessee (9-7) to extend its series win streak to 12 games.



Tennessee has recorded 13 double plays so far this season, with a single-game season high three against USF on Feb. 22 that ties for a program record. The achievement has only occurred on three occasions, the last time coming at Virginia Tech in 2015. The only other time a UT team had three double plays was in 1998 versus Kansas. The Lady Vols' 0.81 double plays per game leads the SEC and ranks second in the nation.


Senior Chelsea Seggern quickly jumped into another top-10 category early in the season, albeit a painful one. Recording eight hit-by-pitches so far, Seggern ranks seventh all-time in UT history after being pegged at the plate 27 times since she joined the Lady Vols family in 2017. The Thrall, Texas, native ranks second in the SEC and fifth in the nation in HBP per game (0.50). Seggern is also ranked 43rd in the nations with 0.554 on base percentage.


Kiki Milloy and KK McCrary have stood out for their impressive play at the plate in the early 2020 season. Milloy who was the lead off hitter in the 2020 lid-lifter, was the first freshman to go yard in their first collegiate at-bat for the Lady Vols since at least 2012, while McCrary was the first of the eight freshmen to go yard at Sherri Parker Lee. McCrary blasted a 2-run homer through centerfield against UT Martin on Feb. 25 to become the first freshman to record a dinger in a home opener since Meghan Gregg hit two against Northern Iowa on March 6, 2015.


Nearly half of the Lady Vols squad is made up of in-state talent. There are nine Tennessee natives on the 2020 roster, believed to be a record for the program. Seniors Treasuary Poindexter (Covington, Tenn.) and Cailin Hannon (Franklin, Tenn.) and sophomores Kaili Phillips (Ooltewah, Tenn.) and Ashley Rogers (Athens, Tenn.) are joined by freshmen Anna Fox (Columbia, Tenn.), KK McCrary (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Josie Willingham (Medon, Tenn.), Anna Hazlewood (Martin, Tenn.) and Madison Webber (Sevierville, Tenn.).


On Feb. 23, 1996, Tennessee fielded its first softball team at the 10th Annual Louisiana Classics in Lafayette, La. A 1-0 loss to Baylor, a program that had been around since 1979, marked the beginning of what would become one of the Vols and Lady Vols premier athletic programs. The Lady Vols bounced back the following day to pick up the program's first win, a 5-4 victory over the Bears and eventually took the series in a rubber match on Feb. 25, a 9-8, eight-inning victory. Fast forward to 2020 and 1,124 wins later, the Orange and White opens the programs 25th year in extant as the season commences on Feb. 8 in Tempe, Ariz., against Northwestern.


In late January, Tennessee announced that it would host the U.S. Women's National Team as part of Team USA's "Stand Beside Her" Tour – a nationwide tour where the Red, White and Blue will face top Division I collegiate teams in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. On April 8, the Lady Vols face off against the WNT at Sherri Parker Lee and will welcome back Tennessee great Monica Abbott, a four-time All-American (2004-07), three-time SEC Pitcher of the Year (2004, 05, 07), USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year trophy winner and NCAA/UT program record holder. Tickets for the event are currently sold out, but the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.


The Lady Vols continue its home stand with the Tennessee Invitational on March. 6-8. UT will host ETSU at 3 p.m. and Stanford at 5:30 p.m. on Friday before opening Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against Toledo in a round-robin format that will peg the top-finishing team against the team with the fewest wins later Saturday. Consolation and championship rounds will be played on Sunday, with the Lady Vols playing at
12:30 p.m., regardless of finish.