BURLINGTON, N.C. – The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team (26-26, 10-11 SoCon) fell 4-3 Sunday evening at Hunt Softball Park to Elon (21-30, 8-16 SoCon) as the Phoenix completed the weekend sweep. The loss to Elon slides Chattanooga one spot in the standings and makes the Lady Mocs the No. 6 seed going into the Southern Conference Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. UTC will take on No. 3 Georgia Southern Wednesday at 2 p.m. to open up tournament play.
"It's not how we wanted to finished the season," Head Coach Frank Reed said. "But those were some tough games we played. Our team fought hard and we took a talented team to two down-to-the-wire situations this weekend. Now we have to take advantage of the next two days and prepare for the tournament."
Sunday saw freshman pitcher Rachel Albritton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) pitch 7.2 strong innings of softball, despite walking away with the loss. The freshman retired six batters on strikes and walked only one Elon batter. From the last out of the first inning to the first batter of the fifth, Albritton retired 10 Elon batters in a row and dealing three strikeouts over the streak. The loss brings Albritton’s record to 6-5 on the season.
Chattanooga jumped ahead in the first inning as freshman Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) led off with a single up the middle to center. Junior Stephanie Rieck (Chandler, Ariz) sacrificed Taylor to second and Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) followed up with a single to right to place runners on the corners. Sophomore third baseman Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) delivered a single to center to score Taylor from third, putting the Lady Mocs on top 1-0.
After four scoreless innings, the Elon offense found its way to the scoreboard in the fifth as Albritton ran into her first bit of trouble. Back-to-back singles put two runners on and an RBI groundout to shortstop off the bat of Allie Ford drove in the first Phoenix run, tying the game at 1-1.
Chattanooga was held scoreless in the sixth – retired in order after redshirt freshman Jenny Garcia (Maimi, Fla.) was hit by a pitch – and Elon took advantage of the dry inning. With two outs on the board, Carleigh Nester walked and first baseman Grace Eng sent a line-drive home run to left to put Elon on top 3-1.
Down going into the final frame, Chattanooga answered with two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game 3-3. Sam Taylor led off the inning with a reached-on-error and Rieck followed up with a single to right. Robles dealt the run-scoring blow with a double to the right-center gap to score both Taylor and Rieck.
Elon kept UTC off the board in the eighth inning but with one out and runner at second and third in the bottom of the eighth inning, a sacrifice fly ball to right off the bat of Nester sank the Lady Mocs in extra innings.
Elon reliever Chelsea White was credited with her seventh win of the season while senior starter Kari Pervell came away with no decision after seven innings of work.
Chattanooga will practice Monday and Tuesday for the upcoming tournament before beginning the bracket Wednesday afternoon. For the full bracket and list of seeds, click here.