Chatter filled the Lee Stadium clubhouse.
With the Tennessee softball team slowly trickling in from practice, players began to mingle in the foyer. Laughter echoed about the room.
But suddenly the noise ceased.
The clubhouse doors swung open. Karen Weekly entered the room.
Taking a moment to reposition the five bats lying across her outstretched arms, Tennessee's co-head softball coach spoke.
"We need to look presentable," she said. "That means no shorts and make sure your sweatshirts are zipped up. Lets move."
After returning home from a season-opening sweep of the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, the Lady Vols (5-0) headed out to spend some time with their fans on Wednesday.
The softball team spent the evening driving around Knoxville, hand-delivering tickets to season-ticket holders before departing for Tampa, Fla.
"When you're on the field you don't really have a chance to say thank you to the fans in a meaningful way," Weekly said. "Our kids really appreciate the fans that come out and watch them play."
But the Lady Vols are done going door-to-door. It's back to action.
The No. 4 Lady Vols take on North Carolina State and Coastal Carolina today to open the USF 4 Team Tournament. They will face No. 12 USF on Saturday.
Upending USF: The Lady Vols will face their first true test of the season in No. 12 USF and the Bulls' heralded pitcher Sara Nevins. Nevins was one of 11 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year last season.
Weekly said the key for the Tennessee this weekend is to continue their power production.
"We'll see some good pitching in Florida," Weekly said. "We've been really working to generate more power."
Returning All-Americans Raven Chavanne and Kat Dotson blasted a pair of grand slams in the Red Desert Classic. Neither had hit a home run since the 2011 season.
Pitching Projection: Weekly said she will use the Lady Vols' deeper-than-usual pitching rotation in a different capacity this weekend.
While Tennessee had four different pitchers start the first four games in Utah, Weekly said UT would likely throw multiple pitchers in the same game rather than reserving a start for each.
Awesome Akamine: The Weeklys spent the weeks leading up to the start of the season outlining the keys to early season success. Much of that talk was focused around sophomore catcher Hannah Akamine.
Taking over behind the plate for graduated leader Ashley Andrews, Akamine opened the season with an impressive offensive showing.
Akamine heads to Florida boasting a team-best batting average of .778 after going 7-for-9 from the plate with a home run and five RBIs.
"She did everything we wanted her to do," Weekly said. "I was thrilled with the way she preformed."
Akamine hit .163 with one home run in 49 at-bats last season.
Freshman Phenom: Ralph Weekly boasted an ear-to-ear smile as he began to talk about freshman Rainey Gaffin.
While Gaffin started just one game in Utah, Ralph Weekly said the 5-foot-10 outfielder would be worked into the lineup plenty this weekend.
"She literally strikes fear into the eyes of pitchers," he said.
Gaffin was 4-of-6 with a triple and three RBIs last weekend.
Versatile Tarango: Before the Lady Vols departed for the Red Desert Classic, Ralph Weekly described Cheyanne Tarango as "multi-talented."
She certainty lived up to that label in UT's season-opening series.
The sophomore went 7-for-11 with two home runs, six RBIs, a double and seven runs. She also earned her first collegiate win as a pitcher, tossing a two-hit, complete game shutout against South Dakota.
Ralph Weekly said he will continue to give Tarango both at-bats and innings in the circle in Florida.
Moving On Up: After jumping out to a 5-0 start, Tennessee moved up on Tuesday to No. 4 in both the USA Today and the NFCA Division I softball polls. The Lady Vols started the season ranked sixth. The SEC has eight teams ranked in the top 25 in both polls.