BOONE, N.C. - The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team saw senior
catcher Vivian Morimoto (Sao Paulo, Brazil) connect on a grand slam for the
second-consecutive game in an 8-1 win over Elon on Wednesday at the Southern
Conference Tournament in Boone, N.C. Senior designated player Michelle Fuzzard
(Huntington Beach, Calif.) went 2-for-2 with a solo home run, showing why the
league coaches voted her SoCon Player of the Year.
"We were on the pitches and put the ball in play to drive in runners during the early innings," said head coach Frank Reed. "It seemed like once we hit that first home run, it was all down hill from there. Once we got rolling, the grand slam by Vivian Morimoto put it out of reach. Hopefully, we can continue to have hot bats as the tournament progresses."
The Lady Mocs will play No. 3 College of Charleston on Thursday at 5 p.m. Fans can follow all the action with
links to live stats, free audio and video on the softball schedule page of
GoMocs.com. The Voice of Lady Mocs softball, Tyler Brown, has the play-by-play call on the audio broadcast with analysis provided by Nate Blythe
Chattanooga (38-14) used a complete-game three hitter from
freshman pitcher Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) as she became the Lady Mocs
all-time freshman leader with 23 wins, passing Brooke Loudermilk (2007) and
Tayla Trudell (1998). The Clarksville, Tenn., registered five strikeouts, but
the story of the game was that she forced 12 groundouts, while keeping
opponents from taking advantage of the short fence at Sywassink/Lloyd Family
The Chattanooga defense was up to the task in the contest as
freshman third baseman Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) registered a
single-game high eight assists, while junior first baseman Kasey Tydingco
(Fairfield, Calif.) recorded 12 putouts.
For Elon (23-26), Carleigh Nester blasted her first home run of the
season and tallied two hits in the game.
Earning the loss to fall to 13-15 on the season was Erin O'Shea. Chelsea
White and Kari Pervell combined to complete the contest.
In the first, the Lady Mocs drew walks by sophomore outfiedler Stephanie Rieck (Chandler, Ariz.) and Fuzzard,
but were unable to open the scoring.
A leadoff walk issued to senior shortstop Jessica Traxler (Chino Hills, Calif.) and hit by pitch to sophomore outfielder Layne Rainey
(Clarksville, Tenn.) put the Lady Mocs in business with one out in the second. Following a wild pitch, junior second baseman Sara Poteat
(Thomaston, Ga.) drove in the first run of the contest with a sacrifice fly to right center.
Beginning a rally in the third was Fuzzard with a single to
left center. Morimoto connected on a double into the left center gap to place
two runners in scoring position.
After a walk to Traxler to load the bases, Roberts delivered
a RBI single to left center, but Morimoto would be called out at the plate on a strong throw from the outfielder, 2-0.
The fourth inning saw a single by Poteat as she stole her 18th
base of the season, but would be left.
The Lady Mocs bats awoke in the fifth as Fuzzard drove a
pitch off the Appalachian State Indoor Football Facility for her 15th home run of the season
to move into second on the school's single-season chart. Two batters later,
Tydingco added her 12th round tripper of the campaign, increasing the lead to 4-0.
Cutting the lead to three was Nester, who began the sixth
with a homer to left, 4-1.
In the sixth, freshman outfieder Cheyenne Willis (Manchester, Tenn.) registered a one-out single and Rieck
was hit by a pitch. After intentionally walking Fuzzard, Morimoto made the
Phoenix pay with a grand slam to center, 8-1. It was her second career as she
notched one in the Lady Mocs final regular season game at UNCG on May 6.
"It was awesome," said Fuzzard on Morimoto's grand slam. "I
knew that it was a mistake to intentionally walk me. Obviously, they didn't
because I have seen her do it before. She is awesome in coming through during
those pressure cooker situations."
A fly out to the edge of the fence in center off the bat of
sophomore pinch hitter Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) would end the frame.
Deason would be up to the task in the seventh as the defense
made three putouts to secure the win.