SPARTANBURG, S.C. - A pair of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball players in junior designated player Michelle Fuzzard (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and senior pitcher Nikki Waters (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) were selected as the Southern Conference Player and Pitcher of the Month for May announced by the league office on Tuesday. Both were key contributors for Chattanooga in the post-season as the squad reached the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Finals after capturing the program's 11th SoCon Tournament Title.
This is the second time that Chattanooga swept the monthly conference awards in 2011 as Fuzzard and senior pitcher Kandice Irwin (Knoxville, Tenn.) were honored in February. Senior third baseman Tiffany Baker (East Ridge, Tenn.) was selected as the April player of the month.
The SoCon Player of the Year, Fuzzard, paced the Lady Mocs offense during May compiling a .475 average with three doubles, four home runs and 24 RBI. Fuzzard compiled an .850 slugging pct. and .531 on-base pct.
The Huntington Beach, Calif., native notched five multi-hit and six multi-RBI games during the moth. She connected on a clutch three-run homer to spark the offense to an 11-2 victory after five innings over College of Charleston in the SoCon Championship Game.
Fuzzard tallied 75 RBI on the season setting the Chattanooga and Southern Conference single-season records, while ranking in the top five nationally. She also totaled 15 home runs, which is currently second on the Lady Mocs single-season charts behind the 18 that Baker hit during the year.
Anchoring the Lady Mocs in the circle was Waters, who posted an impressive 6-1 mark to conclude the season. She was dominant at the SoCon Tournament in going 3-0 and yielding just one earned run in 15.1 innings pitched.
Waters compiled a 2.02 ERA for the month and fanned 41 opposing batters in 41.2 innings of work.
In the SoCon Championship Game against Charleston, she came in during the second inning with Chattanooga behind, 2-1, and struck out seven of the 14 batters she faced as the Lady Mocs went on to win 11-2.
During the Tuscaloosa Regional, Waters came within one strikeout against Jackson State from tying a career-best and took no-hitter into the seventh against the Tigers.
For the season, the Soddy Daisy, Tenn., native posted a 14-4 mark on the season, 2.40 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 122.1 innings pitched.
The Lady Mocs had one of the most successful season in program history by recording the best winning percentage at 44-14 (.759) and claiming Chattanooga's 13th regular season conference championship, 11th tournament title and eighth NCAA Regional appearance.