LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Chattanooga Mocs softball team picked up its first win of the season with an 8-0 run-rule victory over BYU Friday afternoon in Las Vegas, Nev., at the UNLV Easton Desert Classic. The offensive outburst was backed by lights-out pitching performances from freshman Liana Rodrigues (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and junior Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.).
Chattanooga exploded for eight runs over five innings to down the Cougars 8-0. Sophomore Criket Blanco (Maryville, Tenn.) led off the scoring with an RBI-single to center to score Alyssa Taylor from second base to put the Mocs up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning.
Junior Sara Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) led off the third inning with a single and a sacrifice bunt from Jesslyn Stockard (Ringgold, Ga.) moved Roberts over. A throwing error allowed Roberts to score and a sacrifice fly from senior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) put the Mocs up 3-0.
The fifth inning proved to be the final inning as Chattanooga tacked on five runs to invoke the eight-run mercy rule. Rieck was hit by a pitch and sophomore Jenny Garcia (Miami, Fla.) singled to lead off the inning. Dutton singled to the right side to load the bases, and back-to-back walks scored two runs. Sophomore Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) double to drive in two more, and the final run came courtesy of a Blanco single through the right side to score Alyssa Taylor.
Rodrigues was credited with the win, tossing three innings and giving up just one hit. Deason closed out the game with two innings pitched and two strikeouts. Deason also allowed just one hit.
The Mocs fell 2-1 in the first game of the tournament Friday morning to Boise State. Another outstanding pitching outing for Chattanooga, sophomore Katie Henderson (Hixson, Tenn.) tossed 6.2 innings of one-hit softball in relief. The UTC bats were just unable to battle back from an early two-run first inning from the Broncos.
Deason started the game and only lasted through 0.2 innings before giving up a two-run blast to Broncos’ first baseman Ashley Palmer. Henderson came on in relief after the homerun to close out the inning.
Sophomore Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) provided one run for Chattanooga in the bottom of the fourth inning. Leading off, the second baseman lifted a solo homerun to center to cut the Boise State lead to one run. The one-run shot was the Mocs’ first homerun of the season, but it was not enough to help UTC to a win.
Henderson pitched 6.1 innings, allowing a bunt-single while striking out 10 batters. It was her longest outing of the season. The sophomore yielded no runs, coaxing five flyouts and four groundouts.
Broncos’ starting pitcher Rebecca Patton earned her second win of the season with a seven-inning, two-hit bid. The only Mocs to claim hits off the pitcher were Taylor and Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.). Patton struck out just one batter and walked one.
Chattanooga continues its weekend in Las Vegas with Saturday at Noon with a matchup against Nevada. The Mocs then take on No. 10 Oregon at 2:15 p.m. to wrap up the second stint of the tournament. Live stats and audio are available for each game. All times listed are Eastern.