Tennessee will spend 2018 without offensive star and utility player Brooke Vines, who is expected to miss the season with a lingering shoulder injury.
Lady Vols co-head coach Karen Weekly revealed Vines’ injury in an interview on the In the Circle on Fastpitch News podcast last week.
“We’re not sure, [but]it looks like we’re not gonna have Brooke Vines this year,” Weekly said on the podcast. “She had a shoulder injury and the rehab has not gone like we had hoped it would, so that’s going to be something that was a little bit unexpected, and she was obviously a huge part of our offense last year.”
Vines hit .385 a season ago, boosting her career batting average to .373 in her two seasons as a Lady Vol. She slugged .524, a new career high by nearly seventy points. The California native finished fourth in the SEC in RBIs and, often slotted in the top half of the Lady Vols’ batting order, owns thirty-three career stolen bases.
The Lady Vols are coming off of a 2017 campaign when they posted a 48-12 record, but were upset in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament in a game where Vines drove in both of her team’s runs in a 6-2 loss to LSU. The Lady Vols eventually ended their season against Texas A&M in the Super Regional round of the NCAA tournament.
The 2018 Lady Vols will kick off their season on February 8 against Boise State in Tempe, Arizona at the Kajikawa Classic.