Oklahoma junior Lauren Chamberlain has battled injury issues all season. She was limited to hitting only during last weekend’s regional because of a partially torn PCL in her knee.
Chamberlain said the time off leading up to Friday’s Super Regional opener against Tennessee has been positive.
“Good rest but a lot of good movement, too,” Chamberlain said. “I feel like as long as I’m keeping my range of motion up and stuff like that, I’ll be good.”
Chamberlain said she’s working toward returning to playing in the field, so the rehabilitation process has gotten tougher.
“I’m just being smart about how I’m using my body out on the field and what my time goes to more,” Chamberlain said.
The slugger hit 60 home runs over her first two seasons on campus, but she’s missed a sizable portion of this season with a back injury. Only a short time after returning to the field, she suffered the partially torn PCL.
ALDRETE HAS BROUGHT A SPARK TO TENNESSEE
Freshman catcher Annie Aldrete leads Tennessee with 19 home runs this season and is batting .373 with 64 RBIs.
Asked if she’s been surprised by Aldrete’s impressive first season, senior shortstop Madison Shipman said no.
“As soon as I saw her swing, I knew she was gonna do big things when she got here,” Shipman said. “She’s awesome to have on the field, that’s for sure.”
Senior pitcher Ellen Renfroe said she quickly built a strong pitcher-catcher relationship with the freshman.
“She brings a lot of energy to the field,” Renfroe said. “It’s been exciting to grow that relationship, to build that, especially with a young kid who’s just excited to be out there. I think that’s the cool part about Annie.”
Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly, on the matchup: “It’s two great teams, and it’s teams that when you look at it on paper, are pretty evenly matched. You look at the offensive numbers, and you run through every stat line, and you don’t see too many differences there. I think it’s gonna be a heavyweight title fight.”