Tennessee 2, College of Charleston 0
Tennessee 2, College of Charleston 0May 22, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Sophomore Lindsay Schutzlers two-run homerun was all the support that Lady Vol starter Monica Abbott needed, pitching a no-hitter as Tennessee defeated the College of Charleston, 2-0, on Sunday at the 2005 NCAA Regional No. 11. Tennessee (62-13) advances to the Super Regional round of 16 and will face the winner of Stanford/Missouri in a best-of-three series next weekend, while the College of Charleston ends its season with a 53-18 record.
Abbott (45-7) struck out the side in the first and fanned five of the first six hitters, while finishing with 10 strikeouts in going the distance and not allowing a single hit. She faced the minimum number of batters with a fifth-inning walk being erased after junior Shondra Schlichenmayer was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning.
CofC starter Rachel Stern (32-11) matched Abbott pitch for pitch over the first four innings, but surrendered the game-winning two-run homerun to Schutzler in the fifth. Sophomore India Chiles dribbler down the third base line glanced off the glove of Cougar third baseman Berni Martinez, putting a runner on with one out in the fifth. Chiles moved into scoring position on freshman Kenora Poseys groundout, setting the stage for Schutzler, who took a 3-2 pitch and lined it over the wall in center field to give Tennessee the lead, 2-0.
Stern had earlier escaped jams in the second and third innings. Lady Vol freshman Tonya Callahan led off the second with a single, advanced to second on sacrifice bunt by freshman Shannon Doepking and, after a walk issued to junior Katherine Card, both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Stern then struck out junior Stacey Jennings and induced pinch hitter Natalie Brock to ground out to end the threat.
In the third, Stern pitched around a one-out single by Schutzler, who stole second and advanced to third on a groundout by junior Sarah Fekete. But Stern retired junior Kristi Durant to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
Stern tossed six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out three and walking two. Schutzler led the Lady Vols offensively, going 2-for-3 with a homerun and two RBI, while stealing a base.
Tennessee Head Coach Ralph Weekly
(opening comments) First, I would like to talk about the College of Charleston. They were very competitive the whole weekend, they fought hard and played like they were a top 10 team. They came at us, and they never gave up. I have a lot of respect for the way they played.
(on Lindsay Schutzler) Lindsay Schutzler is the best position player I have ever coached in my 20 years of coaching. She can do it all, she can drop the bunt, hit it out of the park, plays a great shortstop, she stole 35 bases and the list goes on and on. She has won at least four games for us in late innings; she is just a great clutch player.
(on preparing for todays game) All three of the coaches determined last night through watching film how we were going to pitch to them. We had a team breakfast and film session this morning and went through their entire line up and how we were going to play them. When you have a pitcher like Monica and a plan like Marty (McDaniel) and Karen (Weekly) can put together, you have a good shot.
(on improvements to make for Super Regionals)Our problem today was that we left a couple of runners on base that we should have gotten in. In the last inning, we had runners on second and third with no outs, on the next level we are going to have to plate those runners.
Sophomore pitcher Monica Abbott
(on todays game) It was a big day for our team, because anytime it is the championship game we need to go out there and win the first game so we will not have to play another one. I just went out really focused together with my team on defense, taking it one pitch at a time so we could be successful on defense so we could score runs offensively.
(on Charlestons adjustments) They did make some adjustments offensively, but the pitcher and a pitching staff have to make adjustments too. On every pitch we have to make adjustments depending on the umpire and the hitter. We just had to capitalize on what we saw today, and what we learned yesterday to be successful.
Sophomore infielder Lindsay Schutzler
(on her performance today) Today I had a more relaxed attitude. Friday I was a little uptight, so I just came out today more relaxed.
(on her homerun) I was just trying to get the run in from second. I was trying to hit the ball hard, somewhere in the outfield so that we could score.
Freshman catcher Shannon Doepking
(on catching for Monica) I think today was Monicas (Abbott) best day. I think she struggled a little yesterday getting tight on batters, but today she came out hitting her spots. She did awesome today.
(on Charlestons adjustments) Their batting changes were not major, there were a couple of things that were different, but when Monica (Abbott) is on, no matter what the hitter does she hits her spot.
(on throwing a runner out on a steal attempt) I was trying to hold the pitch where it was pitched, because it was such a good pitch and I was waiting for the umpire to call it a strike, but when she did not call it I just had to throw her out on second.
COLL. OF CHARLESTON QUOTES
College of Charleston Head Coach Chandelle Schulte
(opening statement) I thought we played well. As far as Im concerned, I think Monica Abbott won that game by herself for Tennessee today. I thought we threw pitches we needed to in order to get out of situations we needed to. We didnt get the help we thought we deserved. Our kids played their hearts out. It could have gone either way. This is a tough place to play.
(on her teams defense) I personally felt like that first ball that went through our third basemans legs was an error, but it was given a hit. That was really the only defensive weakness that I saw today from us. That is a play we expect them to make. They played outstanding defense all weekend.
(on Lindsay Schutzler) We dont want to walk her. We want to make her earn her way on base. Shes not really going to hit us for a homerun or triple. If we do our job we should hold her to a double. She did a great job this weekend. Honestly, again, I think today came down to Monica Abbott. She just did an outstanding job for them.
(on facing Monica Abbott) One of the things we figured out after facing and watching her, is that we wanted to swing early in the count because that is the best chance we have to be successful against her. Our kids went out there swinging. The first two strikes were good decisions. Usually the third was not a good decision. She is one of the best pitchers in the country. If we put the ball in play and make them field it, then we have a better opportunity. We needed to put the ball in play more than we did today.
(on her pitching) I felt on today. The strike zone was pretty tight, but I have to work with what was given to me. Unfortunately, one of the balls got a little more over the plate than I would have expected it to. I did what I needed to, put the balls where I needed to and got out of a lot of situations.
(on Lindsay Schutzlers homerun) I personally feel that anytime they hit it over the fence I missed [my spot]. Maybe she got lucky, maybe she didnt. I dont know.
(on facing Tennessee batters) I dont think about where they are in the lineup or who they are. If they get a hit, they get a hit.
(on her close play at first base) I felt like I was safe. Calls just had not been going our way. I just felt like I was safe.
(on facing Monica Abbott) We have faced her three times now. Now I feel like we can see her. At this point it is about getting on her first two pitches. I think our strategy was to put the ball in play and make them play defense.-- Courtesy Tennessee