KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - After having to beat Nebraska early Sunday to advance to the championship game of the 2009 Knoxville Regional, the Jacksonville State softball team swept Tennessee, the No. 13 national seed, on Sunday to advance to next week's NCAA Super Regional.
The Gamecocks (42-15) handed the Lady Vols (40-18-1) a 4-1 defeat in the first meeting, forcing a winner-take-all game in which JSU claimed a 2-1 win. The second-seeded Gamecocks, who lost its first game of the regional on Friday, had to fight through the loser's bracket to become the first Ohio Valley Conference program to advance to the NCAA's round of 16.
JSU will now travel to Tuscaloosa, where it will begin a best-of-three series with the No. 4 national seed Crimson Tide, who won their regional earlier Sunday afternoon. All three games will be televised on one of the ESPN networks.
On the tournament, senior Karla Pittman and sophomore Ashley Eliasson posted a combined 0.95 earned run average and held opponents to a .204 average.
The Gamecock offense hit .283 as a team, a number that was led by junior Hillary Downs' team-high .538 average. Senior Courtney Underwood hit .471 with a team-best five RBI, while senior Allie Barker posted a .467 average in a weekend that saw her hit three doubles and two home runs.