Tennessee is among the final four softball teams standing in Oklahoma City.
Fifth-year senior Ashley Rogers added more memories to her only career appearance at the Women's College World Series, pitching a four-hitter Sunday night as the Lady Vols eliminated Oklahoma State 3-1. The former Meigs County standout threw 136 pitches and 85 strikes as Tennessee (51-9) advanced to the WCWS semifinals for the first time since 2013.
"I just continued to mix and tried not to rely on one pitch," Rogers said afterward on the ESPN2 broadcast. "I tried to work the whole plate the whole night. I've worked to get here, and I know I have the tools to go out there and execute."
Said Lady Vols coach Karen Weekly: "She's a warrior. A lot of it out there is just pure guts."
Tennessee, the No. 4 overall seed in this year's NCAA tournament, will play No. 3 Florida State on Monday night (7 on ESPN) in the second semifinal. Monday's first semi (noon on ESPN) contains No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 9 Stanford.
Oklahoma and FSU need to win once Monday to advance to the best-of-three title series, while Stanford and the Lady Vols have to win twice.
Tennessee broke a scoreless tie in the third inning, when Kiki Milloy drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Zaida Puni's double to the right-field wall. Rylie West then singled to left to score Puni to make it 2-0.
Puni enters the WCWS semifinals with 59 RBIs in 60 games.
"She's so calm and composed," Weekly said. "She doesn't care at all if they (intentionally) walk Kiki. She's going to stay within herself. She has a great eye at the plate, and she has a beautiful swing."
Tennessee, which unraveled in every area during Saturday afternoon's 9-0 loss to Oklahoma, played stellar defense behind Rogers. The Lady Vols ended the Cowgirls' fourth inning with a relay throw from right fielder Katie Taylor to second baseman Destiny Rodriguez to catcher Giulia Koutsoyanopulos.
"That just fired me up," Rogers said. "I think we just feed off each other and fight for each other."
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org.