GULFPORT, Miss. – The Chattanooga Mocs softball team dropped back-to-back games Saturday afternoon in Gulfport, Miss., at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Softball Classic. The Mocs fell 0-2 to UTSA in its first game of the day and was topped 2-6 in the late innings by No. 24 Louisiana-Lafayette.
Chattanooga 0 – UTSA 2
UTC dropped its first game of the evening in a tight 0-2 loss to UTSA. The Roadrunners were able to put runs up early in the first and second innings.
Freshman Liana Rodrigues (Chattanooga, Tenn.) was handed the start in search of her second win of the season, but early trouble in the first would put the Mocs down 1-0. A leadoff single from Courtney Buchman and a stolen base put a runner in scoring position. A wild pitch moved the runner to third before a second wild pitch allowed Buchman to score.
The second inning yielded a second UTSA run as reliever Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) allowed a leadoff single to Victoria Birdwell and a sacrifice bunt moved her to second base. A double to center off the bat of Madison Kinley drove Birdwell in from second and gave the Roadrunners a 2-0 advantage.
The Mocs recorded their only hit of the contest in the third inning. Sophomore Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) tapped a two-hopper up the middle with one out in the inning, but a fielder’s choice and groundout ended the inning, stranding a runner on first.\
Chattanooga 2 – Louisiana-Lafayette 6
Chattanooga’s run of bad luck carried over into the second game of the evening as the No. 24 Ragin’ Cajuns topped the Mocs 6-2. A game that saw three lead-changes wound up in the favor of Louisiana-Lafayette on a two-run homerun.
The Cajuns got on the board first in the top of the third as a two-out walk placed centerfielder Haley Hayden on first and a stolen base moved her to second. A single up the middle from Lexie Elkins scored Hayden, putting Louisiana up 1-0.
The Mocs answered back in the bottom of the inning when senior Tyler Templet (Woodstock, Ga.) singled to lead off the inning. Fellow senior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) reached on a fielder’s choice, replacing Templet at first, and Sam Taylor moved Dutton to second on another fielder’s choice. Sophomore Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) then capitalized with a two-run single to center to score both Dutton and Taylor.
Leading 2-1, starting pitcher Katie Henderson (Hixson, Tenn.) hit a bump in the road. With a runner on and just one out on the board, pinch hitter Kelsey Vincent blasted a clutch homerun to right to put the Ragin’ Cajuns back on top 3-2.
Louisiana topped off the score with three runs in the seventh, putting the game out of reach. A three-up three-down bottom of the seventh inning ended the game for the Mocs.
Chattanooga wraps up the Mississippi Gulf Coast Softball Classic Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. against No. 14 South Alabama. Live stats and audio are available free for the game. Both broadcasts begin approximately 15 minutes before first pitch.