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Published on May 20, 2024
Tennessee Lady Vols Cruise to NCAA Super Regional After Dominant Win Over VirginiaSource: Unsplash/ Kenny Nguyễn

The Tennessee Lady Vols softball team is headed to the NCAA Super Regional for the second straight season after blanking Virginia 6-0. Tennessee's offense ignited early in the game with senior Rylie West driving in two runs with a first-inning single, followed later by a two-run double and a solo home run, tallying a personal season- and career-high five RBIs, as reported by WATE.

From the pitcher's circle, Karlyn Pickens, the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year, delivered a commanding performance, holding the Cavaliers to just two hits over seven innings, which marked another shutdown effort by the sophomore—in the game's initial three innings, she set down nine consecutive batters; this information comes courtesy of Knox News. The Lady Vols' weekend sweep was characterized by their absolute dominance, outscoring their opponents 21-0 during the stretch. Their pitching staff handcuffed hitters to a mere .109 batting average across the three games.

The upcoming super regional will feature a best-of-three series against Alabama, which the Lady Vols triumphed over in the regular season series, taking two out of three games, a matchup set to unfold on Tennessee's home turf, according to WVLT. Alabama progressed from the Tuscaloosa regional to set up this SEC showdown.

West's slugging played a significant role in the weekend's excitement, contributing to the victory against Virginia. Her performance left her just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, showcasing her offensive prowess with a .667 hitting percentage across two games. With nine RBIs and two homers, this super regional bid marks the Lady Vols' first back-to-back appearances since 2018-19. It presents them with an opportunity to make their ninth trip to the Women's College World Series. If their commanding play continues, they could secure their ticket for a consecutive campaign.