From Go Vols Xtra
Tennessee carried a one-run lead over Texas A&M going into the eighth inning Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
There was reason for tempered enthusiasm.
At the same time, about 600 miles away in Columbia, Mo., Kentucky led Missouri 3-1 early in that outing.
All was going well for the Vols. A Kentucky win over Missouri could keep UT’s SEC tournament hopes alive.
Turned out none of that mattered.
The first day of the Knoxville Regional featured two exciting games as NC State defeated James Madison, 2-0, No. 7 national seed and host Tennessee took a 9-0, five-inning win over Longwood.
The Lady Vols (45-9) advance to the winner’s bracket of the Knoxville Regional and will face NC State (34-18-1) in the first game of the day on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Lee Stadium. James Madison (41-16) will be the home team in its 4 p.m. Game 4 game vs. Longwood (41-19)
Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick was on board the Big Orange Caravan stop Thursday night in Chattanooga. Warlick of course replaced legendary coach Pat Summitt last season, and it didn’t appear UT skipped a beat.
From Go Vols Xtra
The Beech Buccaneers are about to become the third most popular football team in Tennessee. And that has nothing to do with the program’s 2012 state championship.
It has everything to do with the statewide passion for University of Tennessee football, which is too deeply rooted for even 15 years of an NFL franchise to surpass.
The long-standing fervor for the Vols spread to Hendersonville’s Beech High School in mid-March when five-star running back Jalen Hurd committed to Tennessee.
Beech coach Anthony Crabtree realized the ramifications right away.
“We kind of assumed that with the profile player that (Hurd) is and the craziness that surrounds University of Tennessee football, that we might have more people at our games this fall,” Crabtree said. “I don’t think there’s any question that we will have bigger crowds than normal.”
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