#10 Tennessee Softball 2017 Preview

Tennessee Lady Volunteers
Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
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Tennessee is coming off of their 13th straight NCAA Tournament appearance and have had 14 consecutive 40+ win seasons. Tennessee was almost unbeatable at home in Sherri Parker Lee Stadium last year with a 24-3 record. They made an early exit from postseason play though in their regional round, beating Marist and Ohio State before suffering two losses to Arizona that knocked them out of the tournament. The team loses almost all of their starting pitching staff for this season except for Matty Moss. Plus team leader Rainey Gaffin, who Tennessee co-coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly could always depend on to rally the team in vital game situations is also gone.
2016: 43-16, 16-7
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ralph and Karen Weekly
Key Departed Players:
Erin Gabriel, P, 2.36 ERA, 145.1 IP, 176 SO
Rainey Gaffin, P, 2.32 ERA, 90.1 IP, 98 SO
Gretchen Aucoin, IF, .297 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI
Lexi Overstreet, C, .344 BA, 13 HR, 64 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Matty Moss, P, 1.68 ERA, 112.1 IP, 87 SO
Meghan Gregg, IF, .383 BA, 11 HR, 61 RBI
Brooke Vines, OF, .360 BA, 2 HR, 31 RBI
Aubrey Leach, IF, .348 BA, 0 HR, 23 RBI
Scarlet McSwain, IF, .253 BA, 3 HR, 21 RBI
Megan Geer, OF, .368 BA, 11 HR, 55 RBI
The big question for this year’s team is can anyone step up to compliment lone returning starting pitcher from last season Matty Moss? Gone is workhorse pitcher Erin Gabriel and field team leader and pitcher Rainey Gaffin. The team is hoping that incoming blue-chip recruit Caylan Arnold and NJCAA DII transfer Alex Brake can jump in and help fill the pitching holes left by Gabriel and Gaffin. Offensively the team is returning several strong hitters including Meghan Gregg, Brooke Vines, Megan Geer, and Aubrey Leach. Tennessee is going to need to improve their fielding by cutting down on their mental errors and improving the teams fielding percentages if they want to win more close games. Look for Tennessee to make it their 14th consecutive year of NCAA Tournament appearances this season.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament


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