|Chattanooga at Samford
April 22, 2012
|Birmingham, Ala. (Bulldog Field)|
|CHATT (31-14, 14-2)
|SAM (11-14, 4-14)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team used a 10-run third to dig out of an early 5-2 hole en route to a 15-5 victory at Samford on Sunday afternoon. Propelling the offense with a three-run homer and four runs batted in each were seniors shortstop Jessica Traxler (Chino Hills, Calif.) and pitcher Michelle Fuzzard (Huntington Beach, Calif.).
The Lady Mocs after the win are now 31-14 overall and 14-2 in the Southern Conference, while the Bulldogs fall to 11-34 and 4-14 in the league.
With three hits, sophomore outfielder Stephanie Rieck (Chandler, Ariz.) continued her tear, hitting safely in her 13th-straignt game, and improving her season average to .425. Four more Lady Mocs - senior catcher Vivian Morimoto (Sao Paulo, Brazil), sophomore outfielder Layne Rainey (Clarksville, Tenn.), Fuzzard and Traxler - recorded multi-hit games, while every starter had a base knock in the contest.
Registering multi-RBI games along with Fuzzard and Traxler were freshman outfielder Cheyenne Willis (Manchester, Tenn.) and Rieck.
In the circle, freshman Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) came on in relief of Fuzzard and was lights out in a perfect 3.2 innings including seven strikeouts. The Clarksville, Tenn., native improved her league-leading mark to 18-7 on the season.
Samford was led by Nicole Bobrowski with a two-run double and a homer from Madison Dickey, while seven players registered base knocks. Starter Shelby Scott took the loss in the circle to fall to 2-7 on the season and struck out two.
Leading off the first, Willis singled to right center and Rieck doubled into the same gap. Samford was able to gain some momentum as the next three batters were retired in order without a run crossing the plate.
In the bottom-half, an infield single by Juliane Surane and Alex Adams plated the first run with a double to left center. Misha Aldridge singled home the second run of the game before Abby Adams hit a base knock up the middle. Both runners scored on a double off the bat of Bobrowski to provide the Bulldogs with an early 4-0 lead.
The second began as three-consecutive walks were drawn by Traxler, freshman third baseman Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) and junior second baseman Ninjja Suetsugu (Sao Paulo, Brazil). A sacrifice fly by Willis drove in the first run before Rieck registered an infield single to cut into the Samford lead, 4-2.
Dickey connected on a solo shot to right center as the Bulldogs chased Fuzzard from the circle. Deason came on to notch a strikeout and groundball to retire the side.
Chattanooga exploded for 10 runs on eight hits in the third inning as the team batted around. Morimoto and Tydingco started it off with singles before Traxler drove in a run with a hit to right. A walk to Suetsugu loaded the bases and Rainey came through with a single to center, 5-4.
Following a bases loaded walk to Willis, Rieck and Fuzzard connected on back-to-back singles as the Lady Mocs took a 7-5 lead. Another walk issued to Morimoto drove in a run before a sacrifice fly by Tydingco put Chattanooga firmly in the lead 9-5.
With two runners on, Traxler capped the scoring with a blast to center field, 12-5. It was her second rounder tripper of the weekend and ninth of the season.
Chattanooga continued the scoring in the fourth as singles from Suetsugu and Rainey set the stage for Fuzzard, who connected on her 10th home run of the season to increase the advantage to 15-5. She extended her career-RBI total to 207.
In closing out the Bulldogs, the Chattanooga defense showed up as Rainey made a diving catch in left before Tydingco jumped to catch a liner at first. Deason ended the game with her seventh strikeout.
Chattanooga returns to action on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at Frost Stadium. The finale of the series is senior day for Fuzzard, Morimoto and Traxler with the first pitch slated for 2 p.m.