Lady Mocs fall to No. 3 Alabama 8-0 despite eight-hit effort
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Hurndon Kandice Irwin throws against No. 3 Alabama in the 2008 NCAA Regional at Tuscaloosa
Chattanooga vs. No. 3 Alabama - Box Score
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Senior shortstop Tara Tembey (Folsom, Calif.) went 2-for-3 and freshman pitcher Kandice Irwin (Knoxville, Tenn.) recorded six strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief as Chattanooga (41-21) dropped an 8-0 decision to No. 3 Alabama (52-6) in the first game of the 2008 NCAA Tournament Tuscaloosa Regional Thursday evening at the Alabama Softball Complex.
In the bottom of the first inning, junior outfielder Brittany Rogers set the table early for the Crimson Tide, notching a leadoff double with a line drive to shortstop and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. A sac fly by senior infielder Dani Woods drove her in and put Alabama ahead 1-0 before a pop up to short ended any further threat.
Chattanooga notched a 1-2-3 second inning and rallied offensively in the top of the third inning with three singles to load the bases. UA got out of the inning by turning a line drive to third into a 5-2-3 double play.
In the home half of the inning, Rogers jumpstarted the Tide offense again as she lined a shot up the middle that ricocheted off the pitcher for another double. A triple to the right centerfield gap by senior outfielder Jordan Praytor then made it 2-0 before a sac fly pushed the lead to 3-0. Following a walk, junior third baseman Kelley Montalvo pounded a two-run home run off of the scoreboard in left center to extend the Crimson Tide’s advantage to 5-0.
After a two-hit rally in the fourth was squelched with a pair of strikeouts, Chattanooga’s Kandice Irwin entered the game in relief and proceeded to strikeout the first four batters she faced, including Rogers and Praytor. A walk and a pair of singles in the fifth inning plated a sixth run for UA to make it 6-0.
The Lady Mocs advanced runners to second and third in the sixth inning with one out when freshman first baseman Michelle Fuzzard (Huntington Beach, Calif.) singled followed by a walk by junior third baseman Toni Hutchison (Madison, Tenn.) and a groundout. After multiple position changes, the Tide worked out of the jam with a foul out and a groundout to maintain the shutout.
Following two quick outs to begin the home half of the sixth, Alabama got a third double from Rogers, the first time a UA player has done that since the 2007 Regionals, and an RBI single from Praytor. After pitcher Charlotte Morgan was plunked, outfielder Dani Woods singled to left center to end the game with an RBI single and close out an 8-0 victory.
Morgan picks up the victory to improve to 16-2 while sophomore pitcher Brooke Loudermilk (Locust Grove, Ga.) falls to 18-8 on the year.
Rogers led the Tide with a 3-for-4 day, all doubles, along with three runs while Praytor went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Montalvo added a 2-for-3 performance with three RBIs to round out the scoring.
For Chattanooga, Tembey went 2-for-3 on the day, lining singles in her first two at bats while six other Lady Mocs each added a single hit. Among them were sophomore catcher Brittany Eason (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Hutchison who each added a walk.
The Lady Mocs face Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Florida State tomorrow evening at 5:00 p.m. in an elimination game. In order to advance to Saturday, Chattanooga will need to win that game and defeat the loser of the Jacksonville State/Alabama game. That game would be played directly following the 5:00 p.m. contest.
Chattanooga’s eight hits were two shy of tying the most given up by Alabama this season against a non-conference opponent...Northwestern, out of the Big Ten, notched 10 hits while SEC opponent and current No. 1 Florida laced 12 hits...in a match up of two top-10 teams in fielding percentage, neither team committed an error...Alabama is ninth in the nation in that category while Chattanooga is right behind them in tenth...the loss represents the first time that Chattanooga has been “run-ruled” in their past 49 games...the last time it occurred was February 22, 2008 when Iowa State’s Rachel Zabriskie no-hit the Lady Mocs for an 8-0 victory.