CHATTANOOGA,Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs softball team split its first two games of the USF Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla., Friday afternoon. The Mocs topped Seton Hall 7-1 in the first game but fell 2-0 in the latter game to Utah.
Chattanooga 7 – Seton Hall 1
Junior Taylor Deason (Clarksville,Tenn.) tossed a one-run gem in the Mocs’ first game of the day against Seton Hall. Winning 7-1 over the Pirates, Deason’s sixth win of the season came on just five hits and three strikeouts. The only run of the game came on a solo homerun in the fifth inning off the right-hander.
On the offensive side of the ball, UTC posted nine hits. The Mocs – Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.), Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) – each tallied two hits in the offensive explosion.
Chattanooga got on the board first in the top of the first inning on a hit and an error. Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) walked with one out and Robles singled to put runners at first and second. Sophomore Criket Blanco (Maryville,Tenn.) walked to load the bases and Roberts put the ball in play to put the runners on the move. Roberts reached on the fielder’s choice and a fielding error by the Pirates’ catcher allowed Taylor to score on the play, putting UTC up 1-0.
The Mocs added on three more runs in the top of the second on four hits. Junior Marina Wilkerson (Hogansville,Ga.) led off the inning with her first hit of the season and stole second base. Senior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) followed up with a single of her own and Wilkerson advanced to third. Sam Taylor drove in the innings first run on a single to center, scoring Wilkerson, and Alyssa Taylor was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. With two outs, Roberts singled through the right side to drive both Taylors around to score, moving to score to 4-0.
Seton Hall claimed its only run of the game in the fifth as Destaso homered to centerfield to lead off the inning, but Deason mowed through the rest of the Pirates’ lineup with a groundout and a double play.
Chattanooga added on its final three runs in the sixth inning on a bases-clearing double. Wilkerson walked and Sam Taylor singled up the middle to put runners on the corners. Alyssa Taylor walked and Robles slammed a fly ball to center, missing a homerun by just about a foot, sending the ball off the fence to score all three runners.
Chattanooga 0 – Utah 2
The Mocs did not fare as well, however, against Utah in the second game of the evening. Chattanooga was out-hit 8-2 and out-scored 2-0.
Despite the loss, sophomore Katie Henderson (Hixson, Tenn.) pitched a tough game, allowing just one earned run over six innings of work. The right-hander fanned three batters and walked just one, forcing seven gounders eight fly outs.
The story of the night was Utah starter Kayce Nieto who was nearly untouchable. The hurler tossed seven innings of two-hit softball, facing only the minimum amount of Chattanooga batters through 5.2 innings.
Robles and senior Tyler Templet (Woodstock, Ga.) were the lone Chattanooga hitters to find hits in the game. Dutton was the only other Moc to reach base, finding her way to first on an error.
Utah scored its only runs of the game in the first and second innings, scoring on a single to right from shortstop Anissa Urtez. The second run came courtesy of a Chattanooga throwing error after Hannah Flippen singled to right with two runners on.
Chattanooga’s weekend continues Saturday at 11:15 a.m. as the Mocs take on Central Michigan. After its game with the Chippewas, UTC goes up against Fordham for the second time this season. Both games are available via live stats and live audio. Both services are free through GoMocs.com.