GULFPORT, Miss. – The Chattanooga Mocs softball team fell 2-1 Sunday afternoon in Gulfport, Miss., to No. 14 South Alabama on the final day of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Softball Classic. The Jaguars were able to narrowly outlast the Mocs through seven innings, despite garnering just five hits from the UTC pitching staff.
Junior Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) was handed the start and accumulated 3.1 innings against the South Alabama bats. Allowing just four hits and one earned run, Deason whiffed two batters and allowed two total runs.
Keeping the Jaguars to just two runs, sophomore Katie Henderson (Hixson, Tenn.) entered in relief in the middle of the fourth inning and shut the Jaguars’ offense down. Entering in a one-out-two-on situation, Henderson coaxed a line-out and recorded a strikeout to get the Mocs out of the troublesome inning. Over the next two innings, Henderson allowed just one hit with four strikeouts.
Despite the strong pitching performances, the Chattanooga offense was only able to push across one run against the stacked South Alabama pitching. The Mocs’ lone run came in the top of the first inning as sophomore Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) reached first on an error. After swiping second base, Taylor scored on an RBI single to center off the bat of sophomore shortstop Criket Blanco (Maryville, Tenn.).
The pitching duo of South Alabama starter Farish Beard and Hannah Campbell held the Chattanooga offense to only two hits. Improving to 9-1 with a win, Beard allowed Chattanooga’s only run of the game. Beard Also struck out nine batters while Campbell picked up her third save with one hit allowed and two strikeouts.
Chattanooga returns to action next weekend in Clearwater, Fla., at the USF Under Armour Invitational. The final long road-trip of the season, Chattanooga is slated for five games in the Sunshine State.