CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs softball team swept Tennessee Tech in back-to-back games Wednesday afternoon at Frost Stadium. The offense was explosive in the first game while the pitchers were called upon to claim the second win.
“We scored a lot of runs in the first game and got a lot of hits,” Head Coach Frank Reed said. “We were afraid we spent all of our runs in the first game, but the pitching did a great job of working out of tough situations and getting the win.”
Chattanooga 12, Tennessee Tech 1
While both teams were held scoreless in the first inning, Chattanooga lashed out in the second inning for seven runs on five hits. Freshman Jesslyn Stockard (Ringgold, Ga.) led off the inning with a walk and a bunt-single from Criket Blanco (Maryville, Tenn.) put two on with no out. A fielder’s choice moved Stockard to third and Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) followed up with a double down the left field line to bring two home.
Extending the inning, Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) singled to left to drive in two more. With Chattanooga leading 4-0 and two runners on, junior Nicole Osterman (Kissimmee, Fla.) cranked her third homerun of the season to extend the Mocs lead to seven runs.
The Golden Eagles struck for one run in the top of the third to shorten Chattanooga’s lead to six. Allowing just her second hit of the contest, starting pitcher Katie Henderson (Hixson, Tenn.) surrendered an RBI double to left-center to Angi Sakamoto.
Chattanooga added on five runs in the fourth inning to stretch the lead to 12-1 and to put Tennessee Tech up against the run rule. Along with RBI singles from Stockard and Roberts, Blanco topped off the scoring inning with a two-run homerun to left to put the lead out of reach.
Henderson claimed her 11th win by retiring the side in the bottom of the fifth, striking out two. The sophomore allowed just two hits and struck out seven batters en route to the victory. The only Tennessee Tech run allowed was unearned.
Chattanooga 3, Tennessee Tech 1
Although the offensive production not as prevalent as it was in the first game, Chattanooga saved just enough runs to top Tennessee Tech 3-1 in the second game of the day. The pitchers’ duel saw Tennessee Tech out-hit the Mocs 7-5, but outstanding pitching from Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) and Henderson delivered the win for UTC.
Chattanooga scored first in the first inning with a run on a Stockard single to center to score Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.). Taylor reached first, again, in the third inning on a single to extend her hitting streak to 14 games. The sophomore later scored on a Blanco single.
Tennessee Tech’s only run came in the second inning on a hit and an error. Kendall Hooper doubled to lead off the inning and a throwing error two at-bats later allowed for Hooper to score.
Leading 2-1, the Mocs tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning as senior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) drove an RBI single to right, but the top of the seventh inning would prove to be a nail-biter despite the extra run.
Deason managed a strikeout in the seventh, but a single and batter hit by pitch put two runners on with the go-ahead run coming to the plate. Henderson came on in relief, walking the first batter faced, to load the bases. Henderson recovered nicely by striking out the next two batters to cement Deason’s ninth win and picked up her first save of the season.
Chattanooga is back in action this weekend as Elon comes to Frost Stadium for a three-game SoCon set. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s final game begins at 1 p.m.