ATHENS, Ga. -- The Chattanooga Mocs softball team fell to No. 7 Georgia 9-0 in its opening game of the NCAA Softball Regional in Athens, Ga., on Friday afternoon.
“Unfortunately the outcome is not one we expected," Head Coach Frank Reed said. "We felt like we had a good game plan going in and we executed it well in the first inning but sadly it got away from us. I was concerned that our offence would not be able to score as many runs, but we were not expecting to encounter a run rule. Hopefully we will get the chance to return on Sunday and play them again.”
The Bulldogs (46-12) struck first in the bottom of the second, getting an RBI double to right centerfield from catcher Katie Browne. Browne took third after a sacrifice bunt from Bethany Beggs, but sophomore Katie Henderson forced Samantha LaZear to groundout to short and keep the Bulldogs from tacking on another run.
The Mocs (34-20) put a runner in scoring position as Stephanie Rieck singled to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, but could not find a way to bring her home.
UGA tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the third, as Puailoa took a Henderson pitch over the right field wall for a three-run home run to make the score 4-0 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Georgia plated five runs in the bottom of the fourth, as Paige Wilson lined a single into right to bring home Malia Rivers to score the first run of the inning. In the next at bat, Geri Ann Glasco brought Wilson home on a two-out single to center, giving Georgia a 6-0 advantage. After a single by Tina Iosefa and a walk from Puailoa, Anna Swafford knocked a bases-clearing triple into the gap in left centerfield to push the Bulldog lead to 9-0.
Chattanooga would get runners on first and second after a Sam Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice and Sarah Beth Roberts drew a walk, but a groundout to third would end the inning and game.
Rieck reached base twice on a single and a walk, while Alyssa Taylor picked up the other hit for UTC.
Henderson (19-11) was tagged with the loss, throwing 3.2 innings while striking out three with eight runs allowed on eight hits.
Chattanooga faces UAB Saturday at 2:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to play again at 5 p.m.