CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Chattanooga softball needed some
late inning hits from seniors Jessica Traxler (Chino Hillis, Calif.), a RBI
single, and Michelle Fuzzard (Huntington Beach, Calif.), a two-run homer, to propel
the Lady Mocs over Furman, 8-5, on Sunday afternoon at Frost Stadium. The game served as the final home contests for seniors Vivian Morimoto (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Fuzzard and Traxler as 320 fans came out to remember their careers. An archive and photo gallery of the senior day ceremony can be found through the link above.
With the win, Chattanooga (34-14, 17-2 SoCon) completed its
home schedule at Frost Stadium with a 20-2 mark and has not dropped a league
game in over two years (24-0).
Freshman outfielder Cheyenne Willis (Manchester, Tenn.)
registered a multi-hit game, while Traxler and Fuzzard notched two RBI during
In the circle, Fuzzard received the start, but was chased
following a grand slam crushed by Furman's Sarah Eidit in the third. Freshman
pitcher Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) finished the contest, yielding just
two hits and one run, while striking out six to improve to 20-7 on the year.
Furman (17-31, 6-15 SoCon) was led by Jessie Homesley, who
was 3-for-3 on the afternoon as the Paladins totaled eight hits.
In the first, Willis began the game by beating-out an
infield single to second. Sophomore outfielder Stephanie Rieck (Chandler,
Ariz.) and Fuzzard drew consecutive walks to load the bases with no outs. The
Lady Mocs plated just one run as Traxler was walked on five pitches.
Following a leadoff single by Alexis Galinski in the second, the
Chattanooga defense came through with a double play to end the frame as second
baseman Poteat made a nifty toss to shortstop Traxler, who threw the
ball to first.
Chattanooga struck for four runs on just two hits in the second as
sophomore outfielder Layne Rainey (Clarksville, Tenn.) registered a bunt single
to third and quickly swiped second. After a Willis walk, two runs were push across
as a sacrifice bunt attempt by Rieck, who snapped a 15-game hitting streak, was
tossed down the right field line
A double by Morimoto into the left center field gap tacked
on another run as freshman pinch runner Haylee Blalock (Chattanooga, Tenn.), who
ran for Fuzzard after a walk, advanced to third. The final run of the frame was
driven in by Traxler to extend the lead to 5-0.
During the third, back-to-back one-out singles by Ambree Muller and
Nikki Legg started a rally for the Paladins. A walk to Homesley after a long at bat
loaded the bases. Eidt sent the first pitch into the stands in left field to
cut the Lady Mocs lead to one, 5-4. It was the first career home run for Eidt.
Furman would continue to battle back in the fifth as
Homesley singled to right and Edit drew a walk. A ball sent to third was
mishandled and allowed the Paladins to tie the contest at five.
In the bottom-half, junior first baseman Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield,
Calif.) led off the inning with a triple to left center. Ensuring the Lady Mocs
retook the lead was Traxler with a single up the middle, 6-5.
Following a single by Willis to the shortstop, Rieck moved
the runner to second, but Fuzzard ensured that was unnecessary, delivering
a two-run homer that curved around the left field foul pole to increase the
Chattanooga advantage to 8-5.
As the crowd at Frost Stadium rose to its feet in
anticipation of the final out, Deason would notch consecutive strikeouts to
conclude the game.
The Lady Mocs complete the regular season with a three-game
set beginning on Saturday at 1 p.m. at UNC Greensboro. The finale of the series
with the Spartans in set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.