ATHENS, Ga. -- Megan Geer's three-run homer with two outs in the top of the seventh inning broke a 2-2 tie and helped lead No. 15 Tennessee to a 5-2 win over No. 10 Georgia in Saturday's series opener at Jack Turner Stadium.
Geer went 2-for-4 and drove in four of the Volunteers' five runs on the afternoon while Matty Moss was nearly unhittable in the circle. Moss entered the game with a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first and recorded her first strikeout of the game to end the threat.
Moss only got better from there, striking out six batters while holding one of the most dangerous lineups in college softball to only three hits in 6.1 innings pitched. The freshman improved to 9-2 on the year with the victory.
Sophomore Meghan Gregg also had a big afternoon and opened the scoring in the top of the first. After two quick outs to start the game, Gregg hit a solo blast to straight-away center field for her sixth homer of the year. It marked the 17th time the Vols have scored in the first inning this season as they improved to 16-1 when doing so. Lexi Overstreet continued the inning with a two-out walk and scored all the way from first on Geer's first hit of the day, a double to the gap in right center, to put the Vols up 2-0 early on.
Georgia (35-9, 8-5 SEC) responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first, however. Alex Hugo sent a double down the left-field line with the bases loaded to plate a pair and tie the game. After a walk from Gaffin loaded the bases for the second time, Moss entered in relief and struck out Lacey Sumerlin to end the inning and get UT out of the jam without any further damage.
Tennessee (32-10, 11-5 SEC) had a couple of great chances to retake the led in the third and the fifth innings but left a pair of runners on base both times. The Volunteers finally broke the 2-2 tie in the top if the seventh with a three-run shot off the bat of Geer to put UT up 5-2.
Aubrey Leach led off the inning with a double to right-center field, extending her hit streak to 12 games, and Gregg was intentionally walked to put two runners on base. After a pop up by Overstreet to give the Bulldogs two outs, Geer sent to first pitch she saw curling around the left-field foul pole for her sixth home run of the season.
Moss retired the side in order to end the game and give the Vols their eighth consecutive win over Georgia. The win was also the eighth in the past 10 contests against ranked teams for UT.
Tennessee and Georgia will play Game 2 of the series tomorrow at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network.