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From The Stands – How far can the Tennessee Diamond teams go?

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The Tennessee Diamond teams keep on rolling with another successful home field weekend for both.  

The #3 NCAA seed Tennessee Softball team continues to hoist the Lady Vols banner high and proud as they went undefeated in winning the NCAA Knoxville Regional tile.

The #1 ranked Tennessee Baseball team swept their final SEC series of the season over South Carolina which captured them another regular season SEC title which they share with Kentucky.  The Vols series win over the Cats earlier in the season was the tie breaker in which team received the overall #1 seed in the SEC tourney.  The Vols go into the tourney as the overall #1 seed and will play the winner of the Vandy-Florida game on Wednesday.  

The Lady Vols did not allow a single run during their three games in the Knoxville Regional tournament as the pitching and defense brought it in all three games.  The Lady Vols bats did what they had to in piling up 21 runs in three games with the only scoring outburst being in Game 2 against Virginia when the Lady Vols run ruled the Cavaliers 12-0. Virginia Coach Joanna Hardin praised the Tennessee fans for being respectful and knowledgeable.

Tennessee once again did a tremendous job in hosting a NCAA Regional tournament and now will continue their hosting role with the NCAA Super Regional.  That series will bring a very familiar foe to Knoxville as #14 seed Alabama will be the Lady Vols opponent this weekend with a trip to the Women’s College World Series on the line.  The Lady Vols won the regular season series on the road against Bama last month.  It’s expected to be another full house at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium as the Lady Vols look to earn their 9th trip to the Women’s College World Series. 

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As earlier noted, the Vols will be competing in the SEC Baseball tourney.  The tourney begins Tuesday in Hoover Alabama with four games schedule for Day 1.  Tennessee will await the winner of the #8 seed Vanderbilt versus #9 seed Florida contest.

The Vols took both regular season series from those two teams but both teams managed to take a game from the Vols in the series match-ups.  The Vols could receive a boost for tourney competition as it is expected that pitcher AJ Russell will be cleared to play this week in Hoover.  Russell opened the season in the Vols starting rotation and looked good in the early season.  But soreness in his throwing arm has limited his playing time this season as he hasn’t seen game action since March.

Whatever contribution Russell can make to the Tennessee pitching efforts this weekend could be big for Tennessee as they look to add the SEC Tournament title to their SEC Regular Season title.  

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