KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — For the second night in a row, the Lady Vols came back from an early deficit to defeat the Gators. Tennessee trailed 5-1 after the top of the second inning. UT scored nine runs combined in the second, fourth and fifth innings to top the Gators 10-6.

For the first time in program history, Tennessee has won three consecutive series against Florida. The win also completed their first series sweep of the Gators since 2014.

Karlyn Pickens was given the start, but she surrendered five runs, four of which were earned, in one inning of work.

Payton Gottshall came in relief and extinguished the Gators. The senior threw six innings with five strikeouts and only one earned run.

“That’s kind of the stuff I live for,” said Gottshall. “Just going into situations like that knowing what my team needs from me and just how big that moment can get and what can happen from that and just knowing that I have to hold it down for them.”

Gottshall’s record improved to 11-0 on the season. Head coach Karen Weekly praised her performance and the mentality she’s brought to the team.

“When we recruited Peyton we went after here because when she was a freshman she struck out 13 of us,” Weekly said. “You listen to her walk up song, it’s heavy metal and she’s bouncing around in the dugout like she’s at a heavy metal concert. She’s just fun to be around.”

McKenna Gibson gave the Lady Vols their first run of the game on an RBI single in the first inning. The offense started to hit its stride in the second inning. Lair Beautea drove in two runs with a single up the middle. UT tacked on another in the second with a bases-loaded walk by Zaida Puni.

The Lady Vols took their first lead of the game in the fourth. Mackenzie Donihoo reached on an error that allowed two runs to score. Jamison Brockenbro gave UT its first lead of the game on an RBI single.

Rylie West put this game to bed with her third home run of the season. The three-run shot was a laser to left-center.

Two-time Olympic silver medalist and Lady Vols great Monica Abbott threw out the first pitch of Monday’s game. She retired from professional softball in February and has been promoting her new book Rise and Shine: The Monica Abbott Story.

“To be honored here and be appreciated by the softball program from what I was able to do from when I was here and help build this amazing program. It just fills you up so emotionally,” Abbott said. It’s hard not to tear up a little bit. Not because I’m sad, It’s just so cool. It’s awesome. It’s so awesome that it almost feels like it wasn’t me.”

The Lady Vols’ season record improved to 38-5 with the trio of victories. They’ve won eight straight games and have an SEC record of 16-2.

UP NEXT: The top five-ranked Lady Vols hit the road to play Arkansas on Saturday at 5 p.m.