CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs softball team travels to Las Vegas, Nev., this weekend to participate in the Easton Desert Classic hosted by UNLV. The five-game tournament will pin the Mocs against Boise State, Portland State, BYU, Nevada and the No. 10 Oregon Ducks.
Coming off an 0-4 start to begin the season, UTC looks for its defense to strengthen and its offense to find its groove. In its first three games last week, the Mocs defense committed 13 errors, and the lineup has batted just .233 in four games.
Sophomore Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led the Mocs at the plate last week with a .538 average. The catcher recorded a team-best seven hits in 13 at-bats while driving in one run. Robles had one extra-base hit and totaled eight bases.
Six other Mocs collected multiple hits over the three-day weekend in Orlando, Fla., at the UFC Knights Invitational. Senior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.), sophomore Criket Blanco (Maryville, Tenn.) and junior Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) each had three hits, and Stephanie Rieck (Chandler, Ariz.), Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) and Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) each had two.
The Mocs pitching staff is led by junior Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.). The right-hander holds a 0.62 ERA and a 0-2 record to begin the season. Despite giving up just one earned run in three appearances last weekend, Deason was charged with 12 runs in spite of defensive woes. The junior has thrown 14.0 innings and has allowed just 13 hits.
Chattanooga meets up with Boise State at Noon on Friday to begin the weekend and takes on BYU at 6:45 p.m. Saturday’s contests have the Mocs taking on Nevada and Oregon at Noon and 2:15 p.m., respectively, before wrapping the tournament Sunday at 2:15 p.m. against Portland State. All times are Eastern.
All five games are first-time matchups for the Mocs. The No. 10 Oregon Ducks present the toughest challenge for Chattanooga. Oregon is 4-1 on the season, claiming wins over Boise State, North Carolina State, Fresno State and Appalachian State. Their only loss was the season-opener against Cal Poly.
Boise State is 1-4 on the season with its lone win coming against Utah to open the campaign. Since then, losses for the Broncos have come at the hands of Creighton, North Carolina State, Northwestern and Oregon.
Portland State comes into the Deset Classic at 2-3 on the year. The Vikings have taken win s over New Mexico and Indiana while falling to California, Utah and Colorado State.
BYU enters the tournament at 2-3 on the season, as well. The Cougars have wins over Southern Utah and East Carolina. Losses are courtesy of Weber State, Nevada and Texas-Arlington. All of their losses have come down to just one run.
Finally, Navada is 4-1 with wins over BYU, Southern Utah, East Carolina and Utah Valley. The only loss for the Wolfpack was to Idaho State at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah last weekend.
Live stats are available for all games and free audio is available 10 minutes before the first pitch of each game.