No. 8/8 Softball unable to complete comeback, falls in Supers opener

KNOXVILLE, TN – Friday afternoon’s NCAA Super Regional game between Texas and Tennessee started off evenly after a scoreless first, but a four-run second-inning bottom gave the Volunteers an early lead they didn’t. didn’t give up as Texas ultimately fell 5-2.

Tennessee’s top roster was the difference maker in Friday’s action after Kiki Milloy and Zaida Puni combined to lead in four of the Volunteers’ five runs on three hits in six official plate appearances. The duo were central from the bottom of the second after Milloy picked the middle to score Jamison Brockenbrough from the second. Puni followed by sending a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence for a three-run homer to cap the four-run frame.

Texas immediately fought back in the top of the third after Bella Dayton pitched 1-1 to center field for a two-out single to score at home plate Alyssa Cinderellawho started the inning by reaching base via an intentional fielding error.

Two innings later, Popelka helped limit Tennessee’s bottom of the fifth when she and the catcher Reese Atwood connected for a late-inning double play to halt the volunteers’ momentum after scoring a run earlier in the frame.

Popelka’s play sparked the Longhorns offense in the top of the sixth as Viviane Martinez sent the second pitch of the inning out the left center field fence for a triple. She scored on a sacrifice ball on the first kick Ashton Maloney. Reese Atwood followed by a brace on the first pitch into the left center field gap. Minutes later, Jordyn Whitakerwho hit for Popelka, capped a 12-pitch at-bat with a walk to bring Leigh Gooderepresenting the equalizing point, at the plate.

The inning, which ended with a defenseman being picked off Goode, was the last scoring opportunity for the Longhorns as Texas went down in order in the top of the seventh.

FROM HEAD COACH MIKE WHITE

“Congratulations to Tennessee on winning Game 1 of the series. Softball is a game of making the most of your opportunities and they did just that. They did a great job with the top of their order, and we knew they were going to be a problem. Ashley Rogers also threw a great game. She got off to a great start but I have to thank my team, we did a great job of hitting back with hits here and there. Kiki (Milloy) had a good hold in center field. In the end, they just capitalized on their opportunities, and we couldn’t. Again, I’m just proud of how we got together. beaten and never gave up.

FIRST YEAR VIVIANA MARTINEZ

“After the game, Coach White said Game 2 would be the most important in terms of momentum, so tomorrow our goal is to bring the energy throughout. We drove the fight towards the end, but tomorrow we have to start big by showing up and showing off.”

PLAY NOTES

  • With his hat-trick to start the start of the sixth inning, Viviane Martinez became the first softball student-athlete to be credited with a triple against Tennessee starting pitcher Ashley Rogers.
    • Martinez later scored on a sacrifice fly ball off the bat from Ashton Maloney.
  • By sending an 0-2 pitch from Ashley Rogers down the middle for a two-out single in the top of the fifth inning, second Mia Scott was credited with his 75th hit of the season.
    • Scott will enter Saturday’s game tied with Janae Jefferson (2021) for fifth place on the program’s single-season hits list.
    • Last season, Scott finished his true freshman season with 77 hits.
  • With his two hits by Ashley Rogers from Tennessee, Viviane Martinez related Mia Scott for the team leader with 21 multi-hit games over the season.
    • Martinez’s 17 two-hit games is now a team high, breaking a tie with Mia Scott.
  • With its two scoreless innings pitched on Friday afternoon, Estella Czech still hasn’t allowed a run in the pitching circle at the NCAA Regional or NCAA Super Regional.
  • With his four official plate appearances in Friday’s game, Leigh Goode became the fourth Texas softball student-athlete to top 200 batting officials (201) in a single season.
    • Whether Mia Scott can record three official home plate appearances throughout the weekend, she would join Goode and become the first Longhorn softball student-athlete in program history to have 200 or more home plate appearances in a single season across multiple seasons.

FOLLOWING

  • Texas (45-14-1) will look to extend its 2023 season on Saturday, May 27, when the Longhorns face Tennessee (48-8) in Game 2 of the 2023 NCAA Knoxville Super Regional at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. . AND.
    • Saturday’s game between the Longhorns and Volunteers will mark only the second NCAA super regional softball game nationally broadcast on ABC.

FOLLOW US

  • For the latest team news, follow @TexasSoftball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. General sports news can also be found at @TexasLonghorns on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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