CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team (18-14, 3-2 SoCon) claimed a double-header from Appalachian State (11-11, 5-3 SoCon) Saturday as sophomore Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) carried UTC with a 2-0 record in 8.2 innings pitched. Along with solid pitching, the Lady Mocs offense also delivered with 13 runs in support of the staff.
“We got big hits when we needed them,” Head Coach Frank Reed said. “We needed a good offensive and defensive showing. We needed pitching to be solid and hitting to be consistent, and we were able to do that today. We weren’t able to do that last week and it’s good to see us pulling it together this week.”
Chattanooga 8 – Appalachian State 3
The Lady Mocs were off to a quick start in the first inning of the first game Saturday, finding four runs after a scoreless top of the frame. Chattanooga’s only hit of the inning, a single from Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.), loaded the bases as Sara Poteat (Thomaston, Ga.) and Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) both walked to lead off the inning. Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to drive in the game’s first run and a walk issued to Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) gave UTC a 2-0 lead.
Shivaun Landeros was brought on to relieve the Mountaineers’ Alissa Schoenlkopf, but Chattanooga was able to score two more in the inning as Stephanie Rieck (Chandler, Ariz.) sacrificed one runner home and Tyler Templet (Woodstock, Ga.) drove in another on a sac fly to center, giving UTC a 4-0 lead.
The Lady Mocs added on three more in the bottom of the second, going ahead 7-0, as Sam Taylor singled and Tydingco walked to put two on. An error off the bat of Roberts allowed for Taylor to score and a two-RBI single to center from senior Ninjja Suetsugu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored Tydingco and Roberts.
Appalachian State answered back with three runs in the top of the third on three hits off starting pitcher Rachel Albritton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), but the freshman was able to work out of the tough inning with a 7-3 lead intact.
Deason was brought on in the fourth in relief of Albritton and Chattanooga scored a final run in the fourth to push the UTC lead to 8-3 on a fielder’s choice. Rieck was credited with the RBI, scoring pinch-runner Yoshi Hooks (Cleveland, Tenn.), while Deason allowed just four hits and struck out two through the next 3.2 innings to shut the Mountaineers down in 6.5 innings.
Robles was 2-for-4 in the first game against ASU while both Rieck and Suetsugu were to blame for two runs on the board. Deason walked away with the win, her 11th of the season, while Albritton tossed 3.1 inning and struck out a game-best six batters.
Chattanooga 5 – Appalachian State 3
The Lady Mocs finished up the double-header with a 5-3 win in game two behind a five-inning outing by Deason and some timely hitting. Both teams found themselves on the board in the second as Appalachian State scored two in the second off starting pitcher Kaisey Carson (Indianapolis, Ind.), but UTC answered back in the bottom half of the frame as Back-to-back hits from Roberts and Rieck opened the inning and Suetsugu walked to load the bases. Freshman Jenny Garcia (Miami, Fla.) drove a sac fly to the outfield to score one and a failed pickoff attempt in the following at-bat allowed Rieck to trot home from third. UTC scored its final run of the inning off of an Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) batted ball that was mishandled by the ASU second baseman, scoring Suetsugu.
Leading 3-2, a solo home run from Appalachian State’s Lindsay Loudermilk tied the game at 3-3, but the Lady Mocs were able to find two runs in the fourth and fifth innings to lift them over the Mountaineers on Saturday.
An error and a hit in the fourth inning led to a 4-3 advantage for Chattanooga as Poteat reached on an error to score Suetsugu from third, who walked and advanced on a ground out and a wild pitch, but Garcia helped put ASU away in the bottom of the sixth inning on a solo home run to left field, stretching the score to 5-3. The shot is Garcia’s first career home run and served as a clutch hit for the Lady Mocs.
“That home run was big for us,” Reed said. “She came out as one of our best hitters in the fall and had struggled a bit early in the season, but we gave her another chance today and she didn’t disappoint.”
Chattanooga wraps up the series with the Mountaineers tomorrow at 2 p.m. in a single game against Appalachian State at Frost Stadium. Live stats are provided free for the game and video of the game is available via subscription to MocsVision.