CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - After the Lady Moccs looked back at their accomplishments so far this year on Monday, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team opens the postseason at the Southern Conference Tournament on Wednesday at 2 p.m., in Statesboro, Ga. against the winner of the play-in game between No. 8 Furman and No. 9 Western Carolina. This is the fifth-straight season that the Lady Mocs hold the No. 1 seed at the double-elimination event after capturing the program's 13th overall regular season championship.
Chattanooga (38-12, 20-3 SoCon) knows that the team's ultimate goal in reaching the NCAA Tournament all comes down to this week as the winner of the tournament receives the Southern Conference's automatic bid into the 64-team event. The league recieved the auotomatic bid from the NCAA in 2000 and no team from the SoCon has ever earned an at-large bid.
The Lady Mocs have earned seven of those bids and have captured 10 tournament titles in the 18-year history of softball at Chattanooga and in the league.
SoCon Player of the Year junior Michelle Fuzzard (Huntington Beach, Calif.), SoCon Coach of the Year Frank Reed and senior third baseman Tiffany Baker (East Ridge, Tenn.) met the media on Monday afternoon to preview the Southern Conference Tournament. Videos from the press conference held inside the media room at McKenzie Arena can be view via the links at the top of the page.
Fans can follow all the action from the SoCon Tournament in Statesboro, Ga., with GoMocs.com, the official website of Chattanooga Athletics. Followers of GoMocs on Twitter can receive instant updates from the event on their mobile devices or computer screens. Links to live stats, audio and video can be found on the softball schedule page of GoMocs.com. A subscription-based audio broadcast can be heard on MocsVision with Tyler Brown providing the play-by-play commentary. SoCon.tv will also be providing a video broadcast that can be accessed through MocsVision.
The SoCon Tournament
- The Lady Mocs clinched the program's fifth-straight and 13th overall SoCon Regular Season Title and the No. 1 seed at the SoCon Tournament with a series sweep of Georgia Southern on May 1.
- Chattanooga set a SoCon record with its 20-3 mark for the most victories in the 18-year history of softball in the league.
- Chattanooga enters the weekend with a RPI ranking of 43.
- A powerful offense is fueled by senior Tiffany Baker and junior Michelle Fuzzard, who have combined to drive in 120 runs.
- The Lady Mocs offense ranks in the NCAA Top 15 in Batting Average (5th - .348), Scoring (9th- 6.86 runs/g), Slugging (13th - .548).
- The Lady Mocs open the double-elimination tournament against the winner of the play-in game between No. 8 Furman and No. 9 Western Carolina.
All-Time at the SoCon Tournament
- The Lady Mocs have captured 10 SoCon Tournament titles and advanced to seven NCAA Tournaments.
- Chattanooga has a 45-17 record all-time in the SoCon Tournament.
- This is only the second time the tournament has been played in Statesboro, Ga., with the first following the 1996 season.
- Six Lady Mocs were on the team that defeated Georgia Southern in the finals during the 2008 and 2009 events. Chattanooga came out of the loser's bracket to claim the 2008 crown after dropping the first game.
- Chattanooga bowed out of the reformatted four-team event last year on the opening day after claiming the regular season title.
Lady Mocs on SoCon All-Conference Teams
Pitcher: Kandice Irwin, Chattanooga
Catcher: Vivian Morimoto, Chattanooga
3rd Base: Tiffany Baker, Chattanooga
Outfield: Lyndsey Stiles, Chattanooga
Designated Player: Michelle Fuzzard, Chattanooga
1st Base: Kasey Tydingco, Chattanooga
2nd Base: Sara Poteat, Chattanooga
Natalie Powers, Chattanooga
Player of the Year
Michelle Fuzzard, Chattanooga
Coach of the Year
Frank Reed, Chattanooga
- First Player of Year for Lady Mocs since 2004, Melissa Ramirez.
- Coach Reed earned his fourth-straight and fifth-overall Coach of the Year award
- Seven selections to All-Conference ties Chattanooga and SoCon record
- Five First Team members is second most in school history. (1999+2001 had six)
- Three-Time First Team: Baker, Fuzzard, Stiles.
- Four-time All-SoCon: Fuzzard (DP - 1st/P-2nd in 2009), Stiles.
Shattered Records Entering SoCon Tourney
Single-Season Records Broken
-Tiffany Baker (15) - Chattanooga Home Runs
-Michelle Fuzzard (67) - Chattanooga and SoCon RBI
-Lyndsey Stiles (32) - Chattanooga Stolen Bases
-Lyndsey Stiles (57) - Chattanooga Runs Scored
-Home Runs (52) - Chattanooga
-RBI (322) - Chattanooga
-Hit By Pitch (40) - Chattanooga
Career Records Broken
Tiffany Baker (47) - Chattanooga and SoCon Home Runs
Approaching Single-Season Records
- Lyndsey Stiles (57) - SoCon Runs Scored Record is 66 by Amanda Cone in 2004
- Tiffany Baker (111) and Michelle Fuzzard (116) - Chattanooga Total Bases Record is 136 by Allison DeVries - SoCon mark is 155 by Amanda Cone in 2004
- Sara Poteat (12) - Chattanooga Hit By Pitch Record is 15 by Mandi Green in 2004
- Vivian Morimoto (.500) - Chattanooga On-Base Pct. Record is .500 by Allison DeVries in 1999 and Mandi Green in 1998.
- Runs Scored (343) - Record is held by 1998 team with 361
- Total Bases (711) - Record is held by 1998 team with 755
- Slugging Pct. (.534 ) - Record is held by 1998 team with .483
- On-Base Pct. (.428) - Record is held by 1998 team with .422
Tearing Up the SoCon
- As a team, Chattanooga has compiled a .391 batting average, .603 slugging pct. and .471 on-base pct.
- Chattanooga has scored 184 runs, 8.0 per game, and 243 hits, 10.6 per game.
- Sophomore second baseman Sara Poteat and junior catcher Vivian Morimoto pace the conference in batting average with .508 and .533, respectively.
- Baker has driven in a conference leading 37 runs, while Fuzzard is right behind at 32.
- Morimoto has notched a .883 slugging pct. in league games leading the conference by 80 points.
Five-Straight SoCon Titles
- The Lady Mocs needed a sweep to clinch the title on Senior Day against Georgia Southern and that is exactly what the six seniors did.
- It was the first time that the six Chattanooga seniors claimed the regular season championship at Frost Stadium.
- The Lady Mocs now have captured 13 of the 18 SoCon Regular Season Championships.
SoCon Player of the Week - May 9
- Fuzzard received her third player of the week award and fourth overall for 2010 including a pitcher of the week honor.
- The Huntington Beach, Calif., native went 10-for-13 at the plate with a double, two home runs and 13 RBI.
- The 13 RBI first broke the Chattanooga single-season and then shattered the SoCon season mark as she has totaled 13 on the season.
- Fuzzard compiled a .769 batting avg., 1.308 slugging and .789 on-base pct., in the three-game sweep of Western Carolina.
- She also moved into second place on the Chattanooga all-time home run list at 26, right behind Baker's conference leading 47.
- It was the seventh weekly recognition for the Lady Mocs this season as four different players have been honored.
SoCon Player of the Month - April
- Baker was tabbed her second career the monthly honor for compiling a .386 batting average, .818 slugging pct. and .491 on-base pct. as the Lady Mocs wen 11-4.
- She registered five muli-hit and six multi-RBI games, while recording four doubles, five home runs and 23 RBI.
- The East Ridge, Tenn., became the SoCon all-time home run leader and eventually broke the UTC single-season HR record on Senior Day on May 1.
- She has 15 round trippers this season and 47 in her career.
Capital One Academic All-District Team
- Baker was selected to the first team and senior pitcher Kandice Irwin was honored to the third team.
- The award is voted up on by CoSIDA.
- Baker is now eligible for the Capital One Academic All-America team to be announced on May 26.
- Baker carries a 3.70 GPA in Health and Human Performance, Pedagogy and graduates on Saturday.
- Irwin compiled a 3.31 GPA and will graduate in Exceptional Learning (K-12) in December.
- Brooke Loudermilk was the last to be named to an academic all-district team in 2008.
A Record Breaking Offense
- The Lady Mocs are set to post the highest slugging pct. in the history of the program.
- Thru 50 games, Chattanooga is slugging .534, while the previous best was in 1998 at .483. The 1998 had 300 more at bats.
- Fuzzard currently has the third-best single-season slugging pct. at .758, while Baker is fourth at .755.
- Baker and Fuzzard broke the single-season RBI at 55 held by Angela Brewer in 2001. Fuzzard now is the SoCon RBI record holder with 67 on the year, while Baker sits at 56.
- Morimoto has a .500 on-base pct. with the end of the season record being at .500 held by Mandi Green (1998) and Allison DeVries (1999).
- Stiles broke Jeannie Cochrane 's single-season stolen base mark with her 32nd of the season at Western Carolina on May 7.
- The Hixson, Tenn., native has scored 57 runs and has shattered that UTC single-season record of 55 by Tara Tembey in 2005.
- For moving up the Career Charts (see pg. 4.)
Lady Mocs and SoCon All-Time Home Run Leader
- Baker broke the Lady Mocs home run record last season with her 30th and this season took down the Southern Conference mark with her 43rd against UNCG (4/9/11).
- Baker currently has 47 in her career after hitting two at Furman.
- The East Ridge, Tenn., native also shattered the UTC single-season record with her 15th round tripper of the year against Georgia Southern. She tied the record held by Angela Brewer last season.
- See the chart on page three for the SoCon career list. Current Appalachian State 3B Katie Boyd is second on the chart with 42.
- Baker is in the top five in the SoCon in six offensive categories, which includes leading in slugging, home runs, RBI and on-base pct.
- Baker is ranked 12th in the NCAA with 1.17 RBI per game.
A Powerful Offense
- The Chattanooga offense has been a force this season and it may be the most dangerous in the history of the program.
- The Lady Mocs have run-ruled 16 opponents, 12 of those being after five innings.
- NCAA: Batting (9-.336), Scoring (10-6.45), Slugging (15-.518).
- The Lady Mocs lead every SoCon offensive category except for triples.
- In the 32 wins:
- .390 avg., .618 slug%, .467 on-base%
- 366 hits, 295 runs, 279 RBI, 61 2B, 9 3B, 45 HR, 121 BB
- Per game: 10.5 hits, 8.4 runs, 7.9 RBI, 3.2 extra-base hits
- 2011 Overall (50 games):
- .348 avg., .534 slug%, .428 on-base%
- 464 hits, 343 runs, 322 RBI, 73 2B, 9 3B, 52 HR, 160 BB
- Per game: 8.8 hits, 6.5 runs, 6.1 RBI, 2.7 extra-base hits
- The best offense over a season was in 1998 (47-15):
- .361 avg., .483 slg%, .422 on-base%
- 564 hits, 361 runs, 310 RBI, 95 2B, 18 3B, 20 HR, 166 BB
- Per game: 9.1 hits, 5.8 runs, 5.0 RBI, 2.14 extra-base hits
The Dual-Threat Fuzzzard
- Fuzzard has been a stellar for Chattanooga in the circle recording 16 victories.
- She has been even more impressive offensively with a .418 avg., driving in 67 runs in 50 games.
- Fuzzard is 16th nationally in RBI with 1.15 per game.
- She is in the SoCon Top 5 in 8 offensive and 4 pitching categories.
- The Huntington Beach, Calif., native has 13 home runs and leads the team in hits with 64.
- She also strung together 11-consecutive hits, T-3rd all-time in NCAA history, from Feb. 20 vs. Southeastern Louisiana to her final at bat vs. IUPUI on Feb. 26. The longest such streak is 13.
- Fuzzard went 7-for-8 in a doubleheader with two HRs and 11 RBI against Rutgers and Colorado State.
- She has thrown three one-hit complete games.
Irwin Increases Career Save Total
- Senior closer Kandice Irwin now has 19 career saves as she notched two last week and is eighth nationally this season with six.
- She is tied for fifth all-time in NCAA history with three other hurlers.
- The Knoxville, Tenn., native can move into alone in third with two more.
- The record is held by Kellie Wikerson, Mississippi State (1999-02) with 32. (see chart on page 3)
- Irwin struck out 10 of the 13 batters she faced from April 17-10 in 4.1 innings.
Dominating The Circle
- The team ERA of 2.56 has kept opponents off the scoreboard and the offense has kept the pressure off the pitching staff.
- Fuzzard has notched 16 wins, which is T-1st in the SoCon.
- Irwin has been a relief specialist with just two starts compiling a 1.62 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 95.0 innings pitched.
- Fuzzard paces the team with 125.0 innings and has fanned 81 hitters in compiling a 3.08 ERA.
- Senior Nikki Waters has been fantastic down the stretch posting 8-of-10 victories since SoCon play began, while notching a 2.57 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 92.2 innings.
Aggressive On The Bases
- Chattanooga is 56-63 in stolen bases thru 50 games.
- Last season, the Lady Mocs swiped just 42 bags.
- Stiles leads the way going 32-33 in stolen base attempts, which also paces the SoCon and has broken the UTC single-season record.
- She is second all-time as a Lady Moc with 85. Jeannie Cochrane (2004-07) is a top the list with 94.
Consistency In The Lineup
- Eight Lady Moc starters are hitting above .300.
- Eight Lady Mocs are slugging better than .400.
- Five also have an on-base pct. over .400.
- Each defensive position has also driven in at least 18 runs, while scoring 26.
- Eight different Lady Mocs have connected on the team's 52 total home runs.
Three Grand Slams on the Season
- Chattanooga has set a school record with 52 home runs on the season and three times have converted with the bases loaded.
- Junior shortstop Jessica Traxler was the latest Lady Mocs to accomplish the feat by drilling a 2-1 pitch over the fence at Western Carolina on May 7.
- Sophomore first baseman Kasey Tydingco connected on a grand slam against Ohio State on Feb. 18.
- Baker has three bases-load homers in her impressive career including one in each of the past three seasons. This year, the grand slam occurred on March 27 in a two-home run game against Appalachian State.
Two Double-Digit Innings
- The Lady Mocs have had a knack for putting up crooked numbers on the scoreboard this season and twice they have hit double digits.
- The first was a 13-run first inning against Appalachian State setting a school record as the team scored the runs on eight singles, a double and a triple.
- Chattanooga utilized a 10-run sixth at Western Carolina to go from being down 6-4 to a run-rule victory. Three home runs by Fuzzard, Morimoto and junior Jenni Martin drove in eight of the runs.
SoCon Player of the Week - April 11
- Junior Michelle Fuzzard continued her tear in the Southern Conference compiling a .571 average with four doubles, two home runs and five RBI.
- It was her third weekly award of the season - pitcher on Feb. 14 and player on Feb. 28.
- She notched a hit in each contest and had a double in four-straight games.
- The Huntington Beach, Calif., tied game two at five against UNCG with a two-run blast and extended the Lady Mocs lead to 5-0 on a three-run shot off the Frost Stadium scoreboard in the finale.
- Fuzzard earned the sixth weekly recognition on the year for the Lady Mocs. It was the third-straight weekly award for the team.
SoCon Player of the Week - April 4
- Junior Vivian Morimoto has found a home in the lineup as a backup catcher and designated player on a daily basis.
- She propelled the Lady Mocs offense in game one at Elon with two solo home runs and a three-RBI double to blow the contest wide open in the seventh.
- The Sao Paulo, Brazil, native recorded three multi-hit games slugging 1.143 and compiling a .647 on-base pct.
- She notched a hit in every contest with an official at bat.
- Elon pitched around her in the final as she drew three walks.
- She was the fourth different individual selected as player of the week this year, tying a SoCon record (UTC - 1999, Furman - 1995).
Two Big First Innings
- The Lady Mocs 13-run first in game 2 vs. Appalachian State set numerous records and was the most all-time at UTC.
- Tied for the most runs scored in a first inning in NCAA history with Creighton against North Dakota St. on 4/5/10.
- Second most runs in an inning during a conference game. UTEP scored 17 on Houston in the fourth of a C-USA game on 4/6/07.
- Chattanooga sent 17 players to the plate with 10 hits. A double and triple were the only extra-base knocks.
- The Lady Mocs then put a nine spot at Elon in the second game of the series, scoring all runs on six singles.
- College of Charleston holds the SoCon and NCAA mark with 29 runs scored in the second against Savannah St. (2/11/04).
Baker's Third Career Grand Slam
- Baker hit her third home run with the bases loaded as a Lady Moc in game 1 vs. Appalachian State.
- She is T-4th all-time in NCAA and is T-2nd among active players.
- Her first was hit against Belmont (3/18/09).
- She cleared the bases again at Tennessee St. (4/6/10).
SoCon Player of the Week - March 28
- Baker went 3-for-5 with a 1.800 slg pct.
- She recorded her third career-multi HR game.
- The East Ridge, Tenn., native blasted her third career Grand Slam in a six RBI performance.
- She is the all-time UTC leader with 43 HR and has nine this year.
- Baker is the fourth Lady Mocs honored with a weekly SoCon award.
Best Start in School History
- Thru the first 33 games the Lady Mocs posted a 25-8 mark.
- Breaking the 1999 squad's 21-9 record for the best start in the 17-year history of the program dating back to 1994.
- That team finished the season at 48-18, but played 10 more contests than the 56-game season that is allowed today.
Reed Notches 850th Career Win
- Each milestone victory for head coach Frank Reed seems to be memorable and 850 was no different against Liberty.
- The Lady Mocs fell behind 6-2 in the fourth, but an offensive out-burst of eight runs powered by three-run homers from Baker and sophomore SS Jessica Traxler started in the bottom of the frame.
- Chattanooga would run-rule Flames, 14-6, in the sixth inning.
- Reed notched his 800th win as the Lady Mocs came from behind twice, once in extras, last season in a 6-5 win over Rutgers.
Hitting For The Cycle
- Freshman catcher Natalie Power hit for the cycle in four-straight at bats in two games against Samford.
- The Gleenpool, Okla., native registered a triple and home run in the final two at bats in the first game.
- She sat as the backup catcher in game two, then notched a double and single in the first two plate appearances of the finale.
Reached Base Streak
- Baker had a streak of reaching base in 18-consecutive games snapped against Colorado State on March 18.
- The streak began in the fourth game of the season against Georgia Tech, which surpassed her career-best of 17 in 2009.
- It tied for the fourth-longest such streak dating back to 2001
1. Melissa Ramirez (33-2002)
2. Leah Tucker (19-2001)
3. Melissa Ramriez (19-2001)
4. Tiffany Baker (18-2011)
Jill Crawford (18-2002)
Irwin and Fuzzard Take SoCon Monthly Honors
- Fuzzard compiled a .419 batting average and drove in a conference leading 20 runs on 4 HR, 4 2B and 3 SF.
- She additionally had a stretch of 11-consecutive hits.
- Irwin posted a 1.42 ERA for the month, while toting a 4-1 mark with four saves.
- The Knoxville, Tenn., native threw 34.1 innings and struck out 34, yielding just seven earned runs.
Rain, Rain To Go Way
- The Lady Mocs contest vs. Georgia State on March 30 was pushed back a day as well.
- One game against Appalachian State was washed out on March 26.
- The Lady Mocs were rained out on March 8 for the second time this season as the team traveled all the way to Cookeville, Tenn., to play one half inning.
- Chattanooga ran into inclement weather also at the Bulldog Invitational in Athens, Ga., where day two was cancelled against James Madison and Campbell.
Fuzzard Impressive at Bulldog Invitational
- Fuzzard was stellar in Athens, Ga. even though she went 1-2.
- No. 1 Georgia was kept off balance all game as the Lady Mocs had a 3-2 lead entering the bottom of the seventh, when the Bulldogs scored two for the walk off victory.
- She earned the victory against Campbell and struck out a career-high nine against Indiana in a losing effort, where she only gave up one earned run.
Taking No. 1 Georgia To The Wire
- If the Lady Mocs had been able to hold to the one-run lead in the seventh and knock off No. 1 Georgia, it would have been the first win over the No. 1 team in program history.
- Chattanooga did defeat then-No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on April 4, 2001 by a 5-4 score. The Lady Mocs lost the first game that day 2-1 in the ninth inning.
Fuzzard - SoCon Player Of The Week - Feb. 28 - It was the third-consecutive weekly honor for the Lady Mocs with Fuzzard also earning pitching recognition on Feb. 14.
batting average on nine hits, two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI at the Frost Classic.
- She recorded a 1.214 slugging percentage and notched a career-high five RBI against East Tennessee State.
Baker - SoCon Student-Athlete of The Week - Feb. 28
- Baker was honored for her excellence on the field and in the classroom.
- She compiled a .727 batting average, .824 on-base and 1.364 slugging percentage at the Frost Classic.
- She connected on two home runs that Saturday against IUPUI and Northern Iowa.
- Baker holds a 3.70 GPA in Health and Human Performance.
Eleven-Game Win Streak
- The Lady Mocs won 11 straight games including sweeps at the South Alabama Mardi Gras Tournament and Frost Classic.
- The longest win streak for Chattanooga is 17, which occurred twice, the first in 2001 and again in 2004.
- Baker paced the team batting .563 with four doubles and three home runs, while Fuzzard drove in 19 runs with four round trippers during the span.
- Chattanooga scored 91 runs and hit .371 as a team during the stretch.
- The pitching staff has gave up 24 earned runs for a 2.37 ERA.
Tydingco - SoCon Player Of The Week - Feb. 21
- Sophomore first baseman Kasey Tydingco compiled a .375 average with eight RBI and her first two collegiate home runs including a grand slam against Ohio State.
- Tydingco notched a RBI double and sacrifice fly against UT Martin, while connecting on a solo shot to left center against Evansville.
Grand Slam For Tydingco
- The grand slam against Ohio State by Tydingco was the second time in the past year that a Lady Mocs' first homer was with the bases loaded.
- Senior RF Della Harrison accomplished the feat last season in a pinch hit opportunity at Samford on March 28.
- Baker added another for Chattanooga at Tennessee State on April 6.
Fuzzard Comes Back Strong
- With Tydingco earning the starting nod at first base, Fuzzard has held the designated player role, when she is not in the circle.
- The two home runs by Fuzzard at South Alabama were her first homers since a walk off home run at the 2009 SoCon Tournament in the semifinals against Samford.
- Fuzzaad redshirted last season after suffering a knee injury
- She went 6-for-15 and drove in nine runs during 2010.
- Tydingco was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team in 2010 after stepping in for Fuzzard at first.
- She has kept her starting role at first base for her stellar defensive play at first base.
Fuzzard - SoCon Player Of The Week - Feb. 14
- Coming off season ending knee surgery a year ago, Fuzzard threw a complete-game in her first start.
- She lost the game, but went 1-1 on the weekend with five strikeouts in 12.2 innings pitched.
- Fuzzard earned the victory in the 1-0 win against Fordham as Irwin notched her second save of the season.
Lady Mocs Selected Second By Coaches
- For the first time since 2007, the Lady Mocs were not picked to win the conference.
- Elon edged them by two votes, 61-59 and held a 5-to-4 advantage in first-place votes.
Five Sign During Early Period
- The Lady Mocs will get depth in the circle next year with pitchers Taylor Deason, Jennifer Garcia and Brittany Perez.
- Chattanooga also added positions players Sarah Beth Roberts and Cheyenne Willis.
- All five players begin their Lady Mocs career in the fall of 2011.