No. 1 Chattanooga vs. No. 3 College of Charleston Box Score
Mt. PLEASANT, S.C. - Redshirt-freshman second baseman Tiffany Baker (East Ridge, Tenn.) and junior outfielder Laci Upchurch (Madison, Tenn.) each belted a home run and combined to drive in all five runs as Chattanooga (38-20) powered its way past No. 3 College of Charleston (33-33), 5-2 in loser’s bracket play Friday, May 9 in the 2008 Southern Conference Tournament at Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Both teams opened the game with scoring threats as the College of Charleston put runners on first and second before a fly out and a pair of strikeouts gave Chattanooga its first opportunity. Senior shortstop Tara Tembey (Folsom, Calif.) and freshman outfielder Lauren Flores (Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.) then laced back-to-back singles to lead off the game before three consecutive strikeouts got the Cougars out of the inning.
Neither team mounted a serious offensive challenge until the top of the fourth inning when Charleston pitcher Shannon Howard slammed a ball to third base that ricocheted out to shortstop where Tembey turned it into a 5-6-3 out. Kristie Shifflett then laced a double to center before being stranded by back-to-back fly outs.
With a runner on first and two outs in the bottom half of the inning, Tiffany Baker broke the scoreless deadlock as she drove a 1-1 pitch down the left field line for a two-run homerun. In the sixth inning, Chattanooga would add significantly to that lead.
Freshman outfielder Michelle Fuzzard (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led off the inning with a single to left field and was pinch run for by freshman infielder Kristin Holloway (Chickamauga, Ga.). A left field single from junior third baseman Toni Hutchison (Madison, Tenn.) put two runners on for Laci Upchurch who then powered her eighth home run of the year, a three-run shot over the left field fence, to push the Lady Mocs lead to 5-0 with an inning to play.
A leadoff home run to right by third baseman Kristie Shifflett and a long solo shot to left from catcher Brittany Small closed the gap to 5-2 with one out before a pair of strikeouts ended the Cougars season at 33-33. Those two hits were half of the blemishes on Loudermilk’s record as she allowed only four hits while striking out eight batters and walking none to pick up her second win of the day. She improves to 16-7 on the season with a 1.76 ERA and .183 opposing batting average while Shannon Howard finishes the season at 18-13.
For Chattanooga, Upchurch led the way with a 1-for-2 performance with two runs and three RBIs off of her eighth home run of the season while Baker blasted her fifth of the year to finish with a 1-for-3 day with a run and two RBIs. Tembey went 2-for-3 on the day to raise her batting average to .340.
With the win, the Lady Mocs advance to face No. 5 UNC Greensboro in a rematch of the only game UTC has lost in the 2008 Southern Conference Tournament. The two teams met in the second round with the Spartans prevailing 3-1. Tomorrow’s game will be the finale of the loser’s bracket and the winner will move on to face No. 2 Georgia Southern, which handed UNCG a 4-2 loss earlier in the day, to play for the Southern Conference Championship.
First pitch against UNC Greensboro is slated for 11:00 a.m. at Patriots Point Stadium.
With the 23rd home run of her career, Laci Upchurch is now in third place on the Lady Mocs career home run list and is two shy of tying Melissa Ramirez for the career mark of 25 set from 2002-05...With 45 home runs on the season, the 2008 Lady Mocs are one blast away from tying the program record for most home runs in a season...the 2006 team belted 46 in 73 games for a .630 average while the 2008 club has hit 45 in 58 games for an impressive .776 average per game.