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Tennessee softball: No. 7 Lady Vols knock off No. 4 Florida in five innings

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Big win for the Lady Vols in Gainesville to kick off SEC play.

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Tennessee entered Katie Seashole Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., on Friday having lost the last two series’ against the Florida Gators.

If they plan to remedy that, they got off to good start in their SEC opening slate, topping the Gators (21-3, 0-1 SEC), 9-1 in five innings to improve to 17-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play.

The win makes the Lady Vols 15-8 in conference opening games since the 1997 season.

Florida took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first, but strong pitching from senior Matty Moss-who recorded 19 strikeouts while allowing just two hits in over four innings of work-was enough to keep the Gators scoreless for the remainder of the contest.

Tennessee registered their first run in the top of third, thanks a freshman Kalli Phillips solo shot to make it a 1-1 game.

Two at-bats later, fellow freshmen Ally Shipman put Tennessee on top for good with a two-run homerun of her own to go ahead 3-1.

Junior Cailin Hannon continued the big inning with another two-run homerun, the third of the frame, to put the game out of reach.

The game marked the first time that Tennessee instituted the ‘run rule’ against Florida since beating the Gators in five innings, 8-0 in Knoxville back in 2006.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday in game two of the series, beginning at 1 p.m.