Ivy Davis homers twice on her senior day, Tennessee softball sweeps pair from Auburn

Cora Hall
Knoxville News Sentinel

Ivy Davis' hot streak continued with two home runs in Tennessee softball's doubleheader sweep of Auburn on Saturday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

It was fitting for the senior to hit homers in each win on senior day. The second was in the middle of a string of three consecutive home runs put the Lady Vols ahead on their way to a 7-4 win in the second game. Tennessee won the first game 5-2.

Davis has hit home runs in three consecutive games, with 13 on the season.

With the two wins over No. 15 Auburn (39-13, 11-12 SEC), No. 14 Tennessee (37-15, 14-8) secured a top-four seed in the SEC Tournament next week.

"Oh, it felt so good," Davis said of the sweep. "The emotions were really running at the beginning of the day. So we're thankful that that didn't get in our way at all, we knew we could flip the switch, but it just feels really good to be out here with the team on such a special day."

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The nine seniors were honored before the first game and all embraced at the circle at the end of the ceremony, which is when Davis said the tears started coming.

"These two seasons have meant everything," said Davis, who transferred to Tennessee in 2020 from Arizona. "I was definitely one of the more emotional ones on the field this morning. It's just been really, really special. You don't really get a love like this all the time ... stepping on the field, looking up in the stands and just looking back in the dugout and seeing that team, it just meant the world to me."

Tennessee was in a jam in the fourth inning of the second game. Auburn had scored four runs in the top of the inning to take a 4-2 lead. But sophomore Zaida Puni got the party started with a solo shot to left field. Then Davis hit her second of the day over the center field fence. Then senior Kelcy Leach followed with another homer to center field – and just like that, Tennessee led 5-4. 

"It was nuts," Davis said. "I think after each one it was just like, 'No way.' And the next one was 'No way,' and then 'No way!' It just got more and more amplified in there and it was really exciting."

Tennessee coach Karen Weekly said since the win over Western Carolina on April 13  when Davis hit two home runs, she has been having the best at-bats of her college career.

"It's so cool to do it on senior day and that's what you want for your seniors, is just for them to play free, play relaxed," Weekly said. "Just really make the most of every moment they have left in a Lady Vol uniform, and so she certainly is doing that."

Tennesee's Ivy Davis (15) runs home after hitting a home run during a Lady Vols softball game against Auburn on Senior Day, at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium, Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Davis' family made the trip from California for the senior's last regular-season series at home, which made the day even sweeter.

"It feels so good," Davis said. "They traveled a long way to get here from California and they don't get to come up all the time. So just having them here, especially on the senior day, being able to pull out those two wins and have a good day myself just was awesome."

With the five homers on Saturday, Tennessee has hit 87 this season. The program record for home runs in a single season is 100, which was set in 2015. 

"I feel like we're not really trying to hit home runs," said Puni, who hit two home runs in the second win. "I mean, if it goes over, then it goes over. But I think we're just really trusting our process and not really looking for the results, and when we're trusting our process, big hits happen."