“We challenged her,” Head Coach Frank Reed said. “She knocked the cover off the ball last year when we gave her a chance, but she just wasn’t getting it done this season. I challenged her after the loss to Furman Sunday and she really responded today. She looked today like she did last season. Let’s hope she keeps that up.”
Things didn’t start so well for the Lady Mocs as the Racers drew first blood. Murray State scored a run in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead that would stand until the fourth inning. Rieck put Chattanooga on the board with a double to right center – her first extra-base hit of the game. The two-bagger plated Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield, Calif.) and tied the game at 1-1.
Both teams were scoreless in the fifth inning, each recording one hit and unable to round third, but Murray State regained the lead in the top of the sixth. Starting pitcher Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) hit a rough patch, giving up three hits and a run in the inning, but was able to work out of a jam and keep the damage to a minimal, 2-1.
Rieck propelled the Lady Mocs into the lead in the bottom half of the sixth with a three-run home run over the right field fence, her first career home run, on a laser shot into the stands. With Ninjja Suetsugu (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Tyler Templet (Woodstock, Ga.) and Rieck scoring on the play, Chattanooga took a 4-2 advantage.
The Racers were able to battle back in the seventh to keep the game alive, scoring two more runs on two hits off Deason to tie the game at 4-4. Deason exited the game after six full and Rachel Albritton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) was brought on to work out of the jam.
Chattanooga was scoreless in the bottom of the seventh and the Racers went quietly in the top of the eighth, but the Lady Mocs took full advantage of Templet at second as the tie-breaking runner. Suetsugu flied out to lead off the inning, but Rieck delivered for Chattanooga with a single up the middle – improving to 3-for-4 on the day – to drive in the walk-off run.
The walk-off is the second this season for the Lady Mocs at Frost Stadium and could provide momentum going into the weekend as UTC hosts Appalachian State for its first Southern Conference matchup at home of the season.
The Lady Mocs and Mountaineers meet Saturday for a double header, beginning at 1 p.m., before wrapping up the series Sunday at 4 p.m. at Frost Stadium.