KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WATE) – Tennessee hosted their first NCAA Softball Super Regional since 2017 on Friday and moved within one win of the College World Series after a 5-2 win over Texas.
Tennessee was powered by a three-run home run in the second inning by infielder Zaida Puni. To say the junior from California has been good during the NCAA Tournament would be an understatement, the blast to left center field was her fifth home run in her last six hits.
Ashley Rogers pitched a complete for Tennessee and recorded eight strikeouts. Texas shortstop Viviana Martinez hit a triple and later scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to cut the lead to three before Rogers was able to get Leighann Goode to ground out and end the inning with two runners on.
Star senior Kiki Mulloy made a huge catch deep in center field for the first out of the seventh inning.
Game 2 is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 27 at 3 p.m. It will be broadcast on ABC. If necessary, a decisive Game 3 will be held on Sunday at a yet-to-be determined time.
The winner of the series will be one of eight teams to compete in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City from June 1-9. It would be Tennessee’s first CWS appearance since 2015.
It has been a historic season for the Lady Vols. Tennessee won their second SEC regular-season title in program history, the first since 2007. They followed it up a week later with their first SEC Tournament championship since 2011. It is the first time in school history Tennessee won both in the same season.