MACON, Ga.-The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team (8-8) earned a split on the first day of the Mercer University Bear Classic, falling in the first game 8-0 to Central Arkansas (12-5) but bouncing back in the second game for a 2-1 walk-off win over Northern Kentucky (3-7).
Freshman Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) provided the walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Lady Mocs over the Norse. Sophomore Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) was credited with the win after pitching four innings of relief.
Chattanooga 0 - Central Arkansas 8
The Lady Mocs and Bears were scoreless through five innings until Central Arkansas struck for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Out-hit 10-1, Chattanooga fell into a 2-0 hole in the sixth as the Bears rallied on two outs.
A single to the outfield and a stolen base by Stephanie Lasley put a runner in scoring position. A double down the line scored Lasley and Sam Forrest pulled up at second base. A single from Melissa Bryant put runners on the corners and a single from Ashley Boswell scored a second run. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, a grand slam off the bat of Sarah Bigej put Central Arkansas on top 6-0.
The Bears ended the game one inning early with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Deason was charged with the loss, giving up seven hits and five earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched. Freshman Kaisey Carson (Indianapolis, Ind.) came on in relief, pitching one inning and allowing two earned runs. Carson had three runs charged against her and gave up just three hits. Ninjja Suetsugu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) had Chattanooga's only hit of the game.
Chattanooga 2 - Northern Kentucky 1
Chattanooga bounced back with a 2-1 win over the Norse in the second game of the evening. Another tight game, UTC and NKU were scoreless until the fourth inning.
The Norse struck first with one run in the top of the fourth inning. The run allowed by freshman Rachel Albritton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) was the only one the Norse would score as Deason and Albritton combined for a two-hit, one-run game.
Chattanooga got on the board in the sixth inning as junior Tyler Templet (Woodstock, Ga.) reached on a single with one out. A groundout to second base put Templet at second and a double to the right-center gap from Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield, Calif.) drove in UTC's first run to tie the game at 1-1.
The Lady Mocs found success in the seventh inning as catcher Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led off with a single up the middle. Freshman Yoshi Hooks (Cleveland, Tenn.) pinch ran for Robles at first base and a sacrifice bunt from junior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) moved Hooks into scoring position. Stephanie Rieck (Chandler, Ariz.) singled to shortstop to put runners on the corners and Taylor singled up the middle to drive in Hooks for the walk-off win.
Chattanooga goes back to action Saturday afternoon at 12:15 p.m. as they take on the Mercer Bears. After their matchup with the Bears, tournament play will begin as the No. 1 seed plays the No. 4 seed and No. 2 plays No. 3. Live audio and live stats are provided free through GoMocs.com.