CLERMONT, Fla.-The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team (1-3) claimed its first win of the season with a 6-4 win over the Long Island Blackbirds (0-3) at Dot Richardson's National Training Center Invitational in Clermont, Fla. Chattanooga dropped its second game of the afternoon, falling to Virginia Tech (3-1) 7-5.
Chattanooga 6 - Long Island 4
The Lady Mocs fell behind quickly to the Blackbirds as Long Island scored a run in the first and three runs in the second, putting Chattanooga into a 4-0 deficit.
Redshirt freshman Jenny Garcia (Miami, Fla.) got the start for Chattanooga but was chased after one inning. The young pitcher gave up back-to-back doubles and hit a batter in the first inning before hitting a second batter in the second inning. Freshman Kaisey Carson (Indianapolis, Ind.) was brought on in relief and Garcia took over in left field, but Carson would not have any better luck against the Blackbirds' bats.
Carson faced just five batters in one-third inning, surrendering a hit, run and two walks. Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) entered the second inning with the bases loaded. The sophomore was able to get out of the inning on the next play- a double-play to end the three-run frame for Long Island.
Although held scoreless through two innings, Chattanooga's bats came alive in the third inning as back-to-back walks issued to Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield, Calif.) and Anyssa Robles (Hoschton, Ga.) put runners on with one out. An infield single from Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) loaded the bases and Garcia delivered with a 2-RBI double to cut the Long Island lead in half.
Chattanooga struck again in the fourth, pulling the score to 4-3. A Robles groundout brought senior Sara Poteat in from third, but the Lady Mocs took a permanent lead in the fifth inning. Freshman Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) tied the game 4-4 with an RBI single to centerfield to begin the scoring inning. Junior Stephanie Rieck singled up the middle just two at-bats later, driving in Taylor. After a pitching change by the Blackbirds, a passed ball allowed Poteat to score from third base to cap the Lady Mocs scoring.
Deason picked up her first win in the relief appearance, going 5.2 innings and giving up just one hit. The Clarksville, Tenn. native allowed only three walks while striking out 10 batters.
Poteat was 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and a walk, and Garcia accounted for two Chattanooga RBIs. Rieck, Robles and Taylor each drove in one run.
Chattanooga 5 - Virginia Tech 7
The Lady Mocs suffered their third loss of the season in a tight game with the ACC's Virginia Tech Hokies. UTC fell behind quickly again in the first inning. Rachel Albritton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) got the start for Chattanooga but ran into trouble in the first and second innings. Two hits accounted for a run in the first inning, but two more hits in the top of the second put the Lady Mocs down 3-0.
Chattanooga came storming back in the bottom half of the second with three runs on three hits and two Virginia Tech miscues. With the bases loaded, Taylor turned a pitch around and drove it to centerfield, driving in two runs to draw UTC within one run of the lead. During the next at-bat, a passed ball and throwing error allowed Ninjja Suetsugu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) to score all the way from second base.
After a scoreless third inning, the Hokies answered back with four runs in the fourth inning to retake the lead 7-3. Chattanooga was able to hold Virginia Tech scoreless for the rest of the game, but the Lady Mocs' game of catch-up fell just short.
UTC tacked on two runs in the sixth inning when junior Tyler Templet (Woodstock, Ga.) reached on an error, causing Garcia and Roberts to score from second and third base, but the two runs would not be enough to take a late lead.
Deason was handed the loss, bringing her record to 1-2 on the young season. The sophomore pitched five innings, allowing just seven hits and four runs.
Roberts was 3-for-4 at the plate against the Hokies, scoring two runs. Taylor's two RBI's were her second and third runs driven in on the season.
Chattanooga wraps up the weekend Sunday morning at 9 a.m. as it faces off against the Fordham Rams (3-1). Fordham's first win of the season came against UTC Friday evening, taking the matchup 6-5 over the Lady Mocs. Fordham has since taken victories over Long Island and Virginia Tech. The Rams lone loss of the season came against Southern Illinois Saturday afternoon.