KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee softball started the NCAA Tournament with a 12-0 mercy rule win in five innings over Northern Kentucky inside Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on Friday evening.
The Lady Vols, hosting their 18th straight NCAA Tournament Regional in Knoxville, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Zaida Puni hit a solo home run for the lead.
Tennessee did more damage in the bottom of the third inning. Jamison Brockenbro tripled with the bases loaded to score three runs for a 4-0 lead. Katie Taylor doubled in the inning for another run to make the score 5-0. McKenna Gibson did more damage bringing in two more runs off a double to put UT up 7-0.
Brockenbro hit a single in the bottom of the fourth inning to bring in two more runs for the Lady Vols, extending the lead to 9-0. UT was able to bring three more runs across the plate, which was enough for a mercy rule win after five innings.
Lady Vol Payton Gottshall struck out nine batters in the no-hitter victory.
Tennessee will play Indiana next at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The winner will be in a great position to win the Regional as they'd only have to win more games and avoid losing two games.