“The Streak” will live another year after the Tennessee softball team disposed of East Tennessee State 5-0 on Tuesday.
The 12th-ranked Lady Vols have won 62 in a row over in-state competition over the past nine years and don’t play any other in-state teams this season.
Tennessee freshman Cat Hosfield (25-8) scattered four hits against the Lady Bucs (23-19) in pitching her fifth shutout.
The positives, however, weren’t enough to please UT co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly.
The Lady Vols (34-9-1) held another lengthy post-game meeting to address inadequacies.
“I’m disappointed,’’ said Ralph Weekly, whose team missed the Women’s College World Series for the first time in four years last season. “We’re not getting enough consistency through the lineup.’’
Seven of the nine Lady Vols got hits, but according to Weekly, only three are hitting the ball well.
Junior Nicole Kajitani tops that list on the heels of receiving SEC player of the week honors. Kajitani hit .450 during a five-game stretch last week with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and nine RBIs.
Kajitani’s two-run double off ETSU pitcher Marissa Hardy in the sixth inning extended the Lady Vols lead to 4-0 before an announced crowd of 535 at Lee Softball Stadium.
Kelly Grieve, another of the three hitters Weekly said is producing, had two hits and knocked in the final run with an infield single.
“At this level, you have to make adjustments, and our expectations are high here,’’ said Weekly, a former U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning coach. “The bottom line in this game is you better have at least six of your nine players providing offense.’’
Next Up: The Lady Vols travel to Oxford to play Ole Miss in a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday.
UT, at 10-6-1, has the fourth-best record in the 11-team SEC. The Lady Vols are chasing Georgia (10-5) for third.
A sweep against the Rebels is a necessity for the Lady Vols to keep pace with the Bulldogs. Georgia plays host to Mississippi State tonight before playing at Auburn this weekend.
Local Lady Bucs: Former Oliver Springs standout Jessie Hackworth, a senior, started at first base and had seven putouts, while former CAK standout Chelsea O’Connor, a freshman, started at second and had a putout and an assist.