Mocs Anyssa Robles Blasts Walk Off Homer to Put UTC in SoCon Championship Game
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Anyssa Robles hit a three-run, two-out walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh to give top-seeded Chattanooga the 7-6 victory over third-seeded Mercer on Friday at the 2015 SoCon Softball Championship at Frost Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Mocs (34-13) advance to the SoCon Championship game on Saturday at 1 p.m. Mercer (36-21) will play the winner of Furman and Western Carolina later today for a spot in the SoCon title game.
The two teams entered the seventh inning with Chattanooga holding a 4-2 lead. Mercer rallied for four runs in the top half of the inning. Meghan Rud singled with one out and Carter tied the game with a two-run home run to left to give the Bears life. Shiver then singled up the middle and Rogers reached on a fielder’s choice, as an errant throw allowed Shiver to go all the way to third. Mercer would get both runs across with Shiver coming home on a passed ball and Rogers scoring on a single by Taylor, making it a two-run game at 6-4.
Chattanooga answered in a big way in the bottom of the inning. Stevens got a strikeout and a groundout to start the frame and was just one strike away from ending the ballgame. Nicole Osterman had other plans, though, as she singled to keep the game alive for the Mocs. Criket Blanco followed with a walk to put the tying run on base with the go-ahead run coming to the plate in Robles. She would give Chattanooga its third-straight walk-off win with a slicing line drive over the right field fence for the 7-6 win.
The Mocs were led by Robles with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate with three RBIs and the game-winning run. J.J. Hamill contributed two hits, two runs and two RBIs while Sam Taylor and Osterman each recorded two hits in the win. The top six the Chattanooga order were a combined 10-for-22 in the game and accounted for all seven runs and RBIs.
Mercer got a hit and three RBIs from Riley Carter while Meghan Rud, Natalie Shiver and Kaylynn Sloat each had two hits. Every starter in the lineup for the Bears had at least one hit in the game, as they racked up 12 as a team.
Cori Jennings earned the victory out of the bullpen for the Mocs, her 14th of the season. Kirsten Stevens was tagged with the loss to fall to 25-9 on the season.
Chattanooga ended Stevens’ scoreless innings streak for the tournament at 13.1 innings with a run in the bottom of the first. After a lead-off groundout, UTC got back-to-back-to-back singles from J.J. Hamill, Sarah Beth Roberts and Nicole Osterman. Blanco then hit a line drive that the shortstop could not corral, allowing Hamill to score from third and keeping the bases loaded with one out. Stevens was able to minimize the damage, getting a shallow fly ball to center and strikeout to retire the side.
The Mocs added to the lead with a pair of run in the second. Taylor singled up the middle with two outs to keep the inning alive. Hamill then cashed in the two-out hit with a two-run home run to left center to extend the lead to 3-0.
Mercer got on the board in the top of the third. Emma Andrew singled to lead off the inning and Taylor Miller followed with a single down the first-base line to put runners on the corners with one out. Miller stole second with Meghan Rud at the plate, who grounded out to score Andrew and move Miller to third. Riley Carter then grounded out to shortstop to bring in Miller and make it a one-run game at 3-2.
Chattanooga got a run back in the bottom of the fifth on a Blanco home run down the left-field line, her seventh of the season, to make it a 4-2 game.