The Lady Vols should change Caylan Arnold’s name to Cyborg Arnold.
Just one day after striking out 12 batters over the course of two games - while throwing a total of 75 pitches - Arnold was absolutely masterful, guiding the Lady Vols to victory after putting herself in an early hole.
Fielding errors and a three-run home run by Sarah Brown found the Lady Vols down early in the first inning, 3-0. Even though Arnold got off a rough start at the beginning, she was able to recover nicely, striking out the last two batters before Tennessee’s offense took the field.
UT was able to generate a small amount of offense, with sophomore Aubrey Leach leading off the attack once again. Ashley Morgan was able to drive in Jenna Holcomb for her first RBI of the game, cutting the Buccaneers’ lead to two, 3-1.
Arnold was able to rebound early in the second inning, knocking down the first two batters for Charleston Southern, but she began to slip back into her first-inning ways, allowing the next two batters to advance into scoring position before striking out Kasinger for her fifth strikeout of the game.
Fortunately for Arnold, her counterpart, Nicole Ayala didn’t fare so well early on, either. After allowing a run in the opening inning, she found herself in trouble a third of the way into the bottom of the second inning with bases loaded and just one out after Leach recorded her second single of the game.
Holcomb was able to drive in the second run of the game for Tennessee after recording her second single, to cut the lead to one, 3-2. Apparently, that was enough for the Charleston Southern coaching staff to warrant a pitching change as they brought in sophomore Emily Visnic to relieve Ayala.
That did not go anywhere nearly as planned. The change quickly resulted in senior Meghan Gregg knocking in another RBI, driving McClain home to tie the game up, 3-3. An insanely great catch by Buccaneer second baseman Destini Ewing kept even more runs off the board for the Lady Vols.
Arnold finally settled down in the third, setting up a three-up/three-down scenario in which she recorded two more strikeouts for the game, pushing her total to six. She was able to carry that momentum into the fourth, knocking down three more consecutive batters, striking out two during the process once more.
The Lady Vols offense picked it up from there, absolutely destroying the remaining pitchers on the Buccaneers’ roster.
It all started in the bottom of the fourth inning with another single from Holcomb. Soon after, Gregg was able to get on base herself, while advancing Holcomb to third. This led to a double-RBI from Chelsea Seggern, as she smashed one into left field to give the Lady Vols the first lead of the game, 5-3.
It didn’t stop there, either. Morgan was able to knock in Seggern on the next at-bat to give the Lady Vols the definitive lead, 6-3. They finished out the bottom of the fourth with a total of three runs scored, five hits, and three RBIs - a pretty good formula to notch a victory.
Arnold continued to do her thing, knocking down three straight batters for the third consecutive inning on the ensuing at-bat for the Bucs. She finished the game with 13 total strikeouts - giving her a total of 25 over the past two days.
The Lady Vols would go on to cruise the rest of the game, riding Arnold’s arm all the way to a complete game, for a final score of 6-3. They are now 20-1 on the season.
The victory pits them against the winner of Toledo/South Alabama tomorrow for the weekend crown. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30PM ET