TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team had an eventful day at Rhoads Stadium on Thursday preparing for its first game of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional on Friday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Lady Mocs went through bat testing for the first time this season, an on-field practice and took batting practice in the cages before head coach Frank Reed, senior third baseman Tiffany Baker (East Ridge, Tenn.) and junior designated player and pitcher Michelle Fuzzard (Huntington Beach, Calif.) met the media.
The first order of business was the NCAA bat testing procedure that ensures the ball is traveling at a safe speed coming off the bat. This is a process that occurs for all teams before each regional.
Chattanooga took the field at 2 p.m. (EDT) for a practice that worked similar to a walk through for a football team. It was primarily used to get acclimated to the stadium and playing field. The Lady Mocs started by warming up their arms for practice. Pitchers and catchers went down to the bullpens to throw a light workout in preparation for this weekend
The team then broke up into infield and outfield groups to work on grounders and fly balls, respectively. Then in order to be confident with dimensions of the stadium, the squad worked on relays from the outfield as balls were hit off the walls and down the lines.
Situational plays were given to the infield as they worked on bunts and slaps to become aware of the speed of the infield. They wrapped up the infield work with double plays and the catchers had an opportunity to throw down to the bases.
Next up on the schedule, Chattanooga headed to the indoor-batting cages for a 45-minute workout. They set up stations that included warming up off of a tee, live front toss and hitting off a pitching machine. The players focused on the type of pitches that they could see from Memphis on Friday.
As the team prepared to go back to the hotel, Reed, Baker and Fuzzard headed to the press box for a 15-minute session with the media. They fielded questions about the team's successful season, earning the highest seed in program history and their preparations for the regional.
No. 2 Chattanooga faces No. 3 Memphis on Friday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) in the first game of the Tuscaloosa Regional. The winner moves on to play the winner of No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Jackson State at 2 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, while the losers square off at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) later that day. GoMocs.com, the official website of Chattanooga Athletics, has coverage with live stats and a subscription-based audio broadcast with the Voice of the Lady Mocs, Tyler Brown, providing the play-by-play. Links to the live events can be found on the softball schedule page.