CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The 2013 softball season saw a youthful Chattanooga Lady Mocs team post 26 wins and 10 Southern Conference victories, including multiple season highlights from its promising young student-athletes and mix of veterans. For Frank Reed, the season brought the head coach to the 940 career wins mark and improved his win total at Chattanooga to 464 – extending his own record as the winningest softball coach in program history.
"There were a lot of positives that came from this season," Reed said. "We saw a ton of great players step up and become veterans quickly. We called on a lot of freshmen and sophomore to mature as Division I student-athletes early and they really responded. Our juniors and seniors did a great job of grooming them and I look forward to what they are able to do in the years to come. We have a bright future ahead."
Senior Sara Poteat (Thomaston, Ga.) closed out her career with the Lady Mocs as the team leader in hits (52) and stolen bases leader with 17 on 18 attempts. All-time, Poteat ranks in the top 10 in seven statistical categories – including stolen bases, batting average, on base percentage and double plays turned. Her 49 career stolen bases ranks her third all-time in Lady Moc history and her .437 batting average in 2012 was the highest single-season batting average in over a decade in Chattanooga. Poteat ends her tenure at UTC with a .356 career batting average.
Senior Ninjja Suetsugu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) transitioned from an infielder to a catcher for the 2013 season and platooned at the designated player and backstop position throughout the year. The senior placed 29 hits and found her way on base any way she could, being hit by a pitch a team-high nine times on the season. Transferring from Miami-Dade Community College for the 2012 season, the Brazil native recorded her first career homerun in Clearwater, Fla., with a blast to left field against Villanova March 9 on her return to the Sunshine State.
Wrapping up her career as the Lady Mocs 2013 batting average and homerun leader, Kasey Tydingco (Fairfield, Calif.) recorded a .381 average and five home runs over the past season. The Fairfield, Calif., native started 48 games and drove in a team-high 31 runs. The first baseman ends her career ranked first in double play assists and most times reached by catcher’s interference – well known by catchers for her long follow-through. The senior ends her career with 23 home runs – tied for sixth all-time with Tara Tembey – and fifth all-time with 137 RBI.
Freshman Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.) emerged as one of Chattanooga’s top prospects halfway through her first collegiate season. Despite a .221 batting average from March 10-March 27, Taylor went on to piece together a 15-game hitting streak to swell her average to .333 and to .481 during her hitting-streak. The centerfielder recorded a hit in each of her at-bats in the month of April. Taylor was named to the All-Southern Conference Second Team and Freshman Team.
Freshman Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Suetsugu platooned nicely behind the plate and in the designated player’s role from the first to the last pitch of the season. The freshman from Lawrenceville, Ga., batted .293 and hit her first and second career home runs during her first campaign with the Lady Mocs. Robles was named to the All-SoCon Freshman Team and finished with a second-best 11 doubles on the season. Robles tallied 14 multi-hit games.
Looking to fill the shortstop’s position, freshman Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) filled the void left by former Lady Moc Jessica Traxler like a veteran. Playing in 48 games and starting 47, Taylor provided a sure glove in the five-six hole and delivered with the bat, as well. The Orange, Calif., native batted .297 in her first season and showed power by blasting her first career homerun to center March 30 against Western Carolina. The freshman also recorded a nine-game hitting streak from March 20-April 6.
Sophomore Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) picked up where she left off from the 2012 season with 52 hits, ranking second among Lady Mocs hitters, and a team-high 14 doubles. Named to the All-SoCon Second Team for the second year in a row, Roberts led Chattanooga with 16 extra-base hits and drove in a second-best 30 runs. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn., native batted .310 and recorded 10 multi-RBI games.
Sophomore Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) was called upon once again as UTC’s ace in the circle. Pithing 192.1 innings over the course of 23 starts and 44 appearances, Deason totaled a team-best 16 wins and tossed 14 complete games. Deason was backed by freshmen Rachel Albritton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Kaisey Carson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and redshirt freshman Jenny Garcia (Miami, Fla.). Albritton posted six wins as a freshman and maintained a team-best 3.00 ERA while Carson earned four wins and combined for a shutout with Deason.
Chattanooga ended the season in sixth place in the Southern Conference and was eliminated from the SoCon Tournament after back-to-back losses in its first two games.