Sophomore Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.)appeared to be in midseason form, tossing seven innings and allowing just one earned run to the Bears. Deason received offensive support with 16 hits- six coming from freshman Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and senior first baseman Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield, Calif.) as they were both 3-for-4 at the plate.
Chattanooga 2 - Mercer 3
Despite a low offensive turnout in the first game, Chattanooga held Mercer scoreless through six innings. Kaisey Carson (Indianapolis, Ind.) was credited with six innings, allowing only four hits and two earned runs to the Bears, while Rachel Albritton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) came out to pitch to one batter.
The Lady Mocs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning after stringing together a couple of hits. A double from Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) led off the inning and Tydingco followed up with a single down the right field line to advance Roberts to third. A groundout from Jenny Garcia (Miami, Fla.) drove in Roberts to put UTC on the board.
Both teams were scoreless in the fifth inning and Chattanooga was kept quiet in the top of the sixth, but Mercer made its move in the bottom half of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. Bear's catcher Sarah Santana was hit by a pitch and shortstop Krista Kennedy singled to right, but Santana was thrown out while trying to advance to third base. Appearing as if UTC had caught a break, a single from first baseman Ashton Holt boarded two.
Carson was pulled for Albritton as the Murfreesboro native was brought on to face Rachel Huggins, but the outfielder teed-off on a three-run shot over the centerfield fence to give Mercer its 3-1 lead.
The Lady Mocs gave one last effort in the top of the seventh inning as Tyler Templet (Woodstock, Ga.) reached on a fielder's choice and Sara Poteat (Thomaston, Ga.) tripled with two outs to score the junior, but the one run was all Chattanooga could muster up.
Carson was charged with the loss, falling to 1-2 on the season, while only five Lady Mocs recorded hits. Junior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) saw the ball well, going 2-for-3 at the plate, but Poeat, Robles, Roberts and Tydingco were the only other UTC to reach on a batted ball.
Chattanooga 8 - Mercer 2
Chattanooga rebounded in the second game with 16 hits and five scoring innings, seeing a multi-hit game from six different Lady Mocs. Along with Robles' and Tydingco's three hits, Poteat, Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.), Roberts and Stephanie Rieck (Chandler, Ariz.) each recorded two hits.
Deason earned her eighth win of the season during the five-strikeout performance. The sophomore allowed only one earned run and two runs to score over seven innings.
UTC got on the board first in the second inning as freshman Amanda Ross (Torrance, Calif.) singled to first base. Templet advanced to second on the play, but an error by first baseman Holt allowed Dutton to score from second base.
Chattanooga added to the lead in the third with two more runs, pushing it to a 3-0 game. Hits from Taylor and Roberts put two on and a single from Tydingco in following at-bat drove in Taylor. Roberts later scored on Rieck's single up the middle.
Two more runs came around to score in the fourth as Chattanooga took a 5-0 lead. On two outs, Poteat legged out a single to the pitcher to get the ball rolling. Taylor singled to left on a bloop over the shortstop's head and Robles followed up with a double to right to score both runs.
A two-run fifth inning led to a 7-0 lead for the Lady Mocs. Tydingco doubled down the right field line to lead off the inning and a single from Dutton - her third hit of the day - scored Tydingco from third. A single from Poteat later scored Dutton to extend the Chattanooga lead.
The Lady Mocs capped their scoring in the top of the sixth inning after allowing Mercer to score two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Collecting three hits in the inning, UTC scored once more on a fielder's choice off the bat of Rieck to push Roberts across the plate.
Chattanooga takes on Northern Kentucky Sunday at 2 p.m. in the championship game of the Mercer Bear Classic. Chattanooga is 1-0 over the Norse this season, winning its first matchup with NKU Friday with a 2-1 victory.
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