April 1, 2003
Columbia, S.C. – The Tennessee Lady Vols (32-13, 5-6) composed themselves and regrouped in game two of the Tuesday doubleheader as the No. 13 Carolina Gamecocks (25-9, 9-4) were no-hit and fell 2-0 in eight innings. UT’s Stephanie Humphrey (10-2) pitched eight innings and retired 24 of the 25 batters she faced. Amber Curtis was Carolina’s lone baserunner as she walked to lead off the fourth inning. Reliever Aleca Johnson (2-3) took the loss for Carolina as she pitched three innings, gave up two runs on four hits and struck out three batters.
With the game scoreless at the end of seven, Tennessee began to hit off Johnson as Kristi Durant hit a one out double to centerfield. Amber Rhinehart, who went 4-for-4, looped a single to give UT runners at first and third. Tennessee’s heroine of the night was Laura Mattox who hit the team’s fourth double of the evening, and drove in Durant’s pinch runner Kim Anders for the go ahead run of the game. Rhinehart eventually scored on an RBI-single by Stacey Jennings, providing the Lady Vols enough runs for the 2-0 win. Carolina would not threaten in the bottom of the eight as the Gamecocks went down in order.
Melanie Henkes started the game for Carolina and pitched five innings before heading to the dugout. Henkes gave up seven hits to the Lady Vols including three hits to Rhinehart. Rhinehart led off the fifth with her second double of the evening and with no outs, USC brought in Johnson to relieve Henkes. Johnson came in and forced groundout, a strikeout and a pop up to get Carolina out of the inning unharmed but would eventually take the loss for Carolina. Tennessee registered a hit in every inning except the seventh as they combined for 11 hits during the game.
The last time USC was no-hit was March 17, 2000 in a 7-0 loss to Florida in Columbia. In 2001, Carolina recorded no hits in a 0-0 tie to Stanford but that game was called in six innings.
The rubber game of the series will be Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Beckham Field. It is “After School Day”, where all school age children get in free.