CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team (26-21, 10-8 SoCon) downed the UNCG Spartans (33-13, 10-7 SoCon) 13-9 Sunday afternoon at Frost Stadium to claim the series 2-1. The freshman combination of Alyssa Taylor fueled the Lady Mocs offense and Kaisey Carson was untouchable in the circle in the late inning of Sunday’s win.
“I saw a lot of positive things today,” Head Coach Frank Reed said. “We had 15 hits, we didn’t give up and our freshmen really stepped up and helped carry us. The Taylors were great at the plate today and Kaisey Carson threw four innings of shutout softball. I hope we can carry this into next weekend and eventually the tournament.”
The Spartans found their way onto the board first in the first inning on the heels of two Chattanooga errors. A fielding error allowed leadoff hitter Aisha Figueroa to reach first and a fielder’s choice from Lindsay Thomas gave UNCG one out. Katelyn Bedwell doubled in the following at-bat to place two runners on. A walk issued to Heather Robb loaded the bases and a throwing error would allow two Spartans to score.
Chattanooga answered back in the bottom of the second inning as freshman Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) walked and Sara Poteat (Thomaston, Ga.) reached on a fielder’s choice and throwing error that allowed Taylor to reach third. With runners on the corners, freshman Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) gapped a two-run single to right-center to tie the game 2-2. Senior Ninjja Suetsugu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) then reached on an error to score a third run.
Freshman Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) continued the inning with a two-run, bases-loaded double to right to score two runs and Sam Taylor followed up with a double of her own to score two more runs. The double from the Chickamauga, Ga., native extended her hitting streak to 13 games and gave the Lady Mocs a 7-2 lead at the end of one inning.
The Spartans struck for four runs on three hits and an error to bring the lead within one run. Chattanooga’s lead shriveled to 7-6 as a walk and two singles were issued to three of the inning’s first four batters. The one-out RBI single up the middle off the bat of Allison Geiner was the only earned run of the inning charged to sophomore starting pitcher Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) as a two-out error extended the inning.
The Lady Mocs added an insurance run in the bottom of the second inning, extending the lead to 8-6, with senior Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield, Calif.) finding her way on base with one out. A wild pitch moved the senior up to second and a single off the bat of Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) allowed Tydingco to cross the plate.
The Spartans regained the lead in the top of the third inning as freshman Kaisey Carson (Indianapolis, Ind.) came on in relief of Deason to begin the inning. Back-to-back infield hits put two on base. The two hits were followed up by two outs, but two straight RBI singles from Figueroa and Lindsay Thomas plated three UNCG base runners. Carsopn was able to work out of the tough inning with a groundout to second, keeping the lead with one run.
After back-to-back scoreless halves in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth, Chattanooga tied the game 9-9 in the fourth when redshirt freshman Jenny Garcia teed off on a pitch on the inside part of the plate. The solo home run was Garcia’s second of the season, making her the third Lady Mocs to have multiple home runs on the season. As a team, Chattanooga has now hit 14 home runs.
The Lady Mocs added to the lead in the fifth with a sacrifice fly, courtesy of Robles, to score Sam Taylor from third base. Roberts delivered the big hit with two outs and the third baseman drilled a two-run double to the left-center gap two plate Poteat and Tydingco, extending the lead to 12-9.
Suetsugu led off the sixth inning with a single to center and Alyssa Taylor bunted her way on to board two. Sam Taylor followed up with her third hit of the day, a double to the right-center gap, to score UTC’s 13th run of the contest.
Carson came out in the seventh and tossed her fourth consecutive scoreless inning to put the Spartans away and earn her fourth win of the season. Carson ended the day with five innings pitched and just three runs scored. No runs were charged to the Indianapolis, Ind., native’s ERA.
“I felt good coming to the ball park today,” Alyssa Taylor said. “I had been working on my swing at the indoor and came into the game with a lot of confidence that I could hit well today.”
The Lady Mocs complete their 2013 home slate next weekend as Chattanooga hosts the Samford Bulldogs at Frost Stadium. Saturday’s double-header is set to begin at 1 p.m. and Sunday will wrap up the series at 2 p.m. The home weekend will also serve as senior day for Poteat, Tydingco and Suetsugu.