CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs softball team enters its most pivotal Southern Conference series of the season this weekend as the team travels to Statesboro, Ga., to take on Georgia Southern in a three-game set Saturday and Sunday.
The Eagles (30-16, 12-3 SoCon) sit atop the SoCon standings while the Mocs (26-17, 9-5 SoCon) trail in second place in search of the league’s regular season title.
Chattanooga is coming off a 2-0 weekend at home, claiming a couple of wins over Middle Tennessee last Friday and Saturday at Frost Stadium. Before its non-conference weekend, UTC went 1-2 in Birmingham, Ala., with Samford taking a series from the Mocs.
Likewise, Georgia Southern was 1-2 in its last SoCon matchup. Furman managed to take a series from the Eagles – the first Southern Conference series lost by Georgia Southern. However, Southern was busy over the week with four games on schedule. The Eagles took on Jacksonville in a doubleheader last Wednesday at home – winning both games – and then squared off against Alabama and South Carolina last Friday and Tuesday. While both SEC games were for losses, the Eagles only fell by two runs in each game.
The Mocs enter the weekend with defending Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week Katie Henderson (Hixson, Tenn.) dealing a 14-8 record. The sophomore registered both wins over last weekend against the Blue Raiders and junior Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) 11-7 with a league-best 1.27 ERA.
Sophomore anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) carries the load offensively for Chattanooga with a .352 average and 43 hits. The catcher has driven in 27 runs and been the Mocs most consistent hitter this season. Junior Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) has also been a major factor in the UTC run game lately, hitting a hot streak beginning March 20 against Lipscomb. Since going 3-for-3 against the Bisons, Roberts has only been held hitless twice and has raised her average 49 points over the 17-game stretch. The third baseman topped off Chattanooga’s Friday win over MTSU with two homeruns – her second and third of 2014.
Georgia Southern looks to pitching ace Sarah Purvis to contain the Mocs with Brooke Red on hand in relief of the senior. Purvis, the defending SoCon Pitcher of the Year, stands at 16-10 with a 2.00 ERA while Red is an impressive 12-4 with a 2.24 ERA. Purvis has struck out a whopping 221 batters thus far. Red has whiffed 109.
Kourtney Thomas supplies the offense for the Eagles, batting .356 with 48 hits on the season. The senior leads the team with 44 RBI and has swatted 13 homeruns. Thomas is slugging .674 . Only Taylor Rogers bats higher than Thomas, hitting .404 with 46 fewer at-bats than Thomas. A freshman, Rogers has collected 36 hits in 89 at-bats.
Saturday’s doubleheader is set to begin at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s get-away game also begins at 1 p.m. Live stats are available free via Georgia Southern athletics. Live video is available by pay-per-view with Georgia Southern All-Access. All can be access on the GoMocs softball schedule page.