Tennessee Softball’s Biggest Demon Continues: Vols Eliminated by Arizona Wildcats


Tennessee softball was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament Sunday by the Arizona Wildcats, who continue to be the Volunteers’ biggest demon.

No, it wasn’t for the national championship this time, but it was still an elimination the Vols should not have suffered.

While hosting the NCAA Regionals as a No. 13 seed, Ralph and Karen Weekly’s team had no trouble blowing out Marist and the Ohio State Buckeyes. But the same team that somehow beat them in the 2007 finals managed to do it to them again in 2016…twice.

The Arizona Wildcats somehow became the team to advance to the NCAA Regionals out of that bracket, despite entering the tournament unranked and on the road.

But in two dominant pitching performances, one of which went into extra innings, the Vols once again proved they have a demon with this team.

In 2007, Monica Abbott had pitched shutouts all the way to the finals and then pitched a shutout to give the Vols a 1-0 series lead.

Then, out of the blue, she collapsed in the final two games as they lost the finals, mostly because she had no help from her offense.

In this final game, a 4-3 loss in extra innings, Lexi Overstreet got lucky with a home run to keep the game going, but that was the only time the Vols scored anything against the Wildcats.

For some reason, the bats always go cold against this team, and it surprisingly cost them again.

Tennessee ended its season 43-16 on the year and 0-3 against the Wildcats after also losing a regular season game to them. It’s clear now that they have a demon holding them back.

That demon is Arizona.

And it’s now clear that for Tennessee to get that ever-elusive national championship in the sport, Ralph and Karen Weekly have a psychological edge they have to overcome in that regard.