Mocs Softball Team Opens Season With a Pair of Tournament Victories
(gomocs.com) CLERMONT, Fla. — The Chattanooga Mocs softball team earned a pair of wins on the opening day of the Dot Richardson NCSI Tournament in Clermont, Fla., after downing Morgan State 3-2 and Detroit Mercy 10-7.
The Mocs are 2-0 to start the season for the third time in the last four seasons.
Chattanooga will pick up action tomorrow with another doubleheader. The Mocs meet Liberty at 11 a.m. before ending the Dot Richardson NCSI against Fairleigh Dickinson at 4 p.m.
Chattanooga 3, Morgan State 2
Morgan State scored the game’s first run in the second inning after a dropped fly ball and a throwing error from the Mocs. Chattanooga escaped the inning with only that one unearned run damage, stranding a runner on third on a ground out to second.
Hayleigh Weissenbach started off the top of the fourth with a walk and advanced to second a batter later on a sacrifice ground out from Lexee Lamoree. Aly Walker delivered a double to the right center gap to bring home Weissenbach and tie the game at 1-1 with one out in the fourth.
After a pop out and a two out walk from Ashley Conner, Brook Womack dropped in a blooper down the left field line with two on. Walker rounded third and headed for home on the blooper, just beating the tag to give Chattanooga a 2-1 lead. MSU tied the game up in the home half of the fourth with another unearned run on a dropped ball at the plate.
UTC answered in the top of the fifth when Alyssa Coppinger roped a one-out double to left center and later scored on a Weissenbach bunt single and muff from the Bears’ first baseman to give the Mocs a 3-2 advantage.
A lead-off walk for Morgan State in the bottom of the fifth forced a Chattanooga pitching change. Freshman Alexa Veamoi relieved sophomore starter Celie Hudson, who posted 4.0 innings with no earned runs. Defensively, freshman Cameren Swafford entered the game behind the dish and made an immediate impact. Swafford nabbed two would-be base stealers to keep the Bears off the board and preserving the Mocs lead.
The play of the game occurred in the bottom of the sixth when Morgan State was threatening to tie the game. With two outs and a runner on second, a soft fly ball headed to left center was snatched inches from the ground by a diving Coppinger to end the inning.
Veamoi surrendered a pair of hits in the bottom of the seventh but worked around the damage and induced a soft liner to Brook Womack at third base to end the game. Veamoi was credited a three-inning save in her first collegiate appearance.
Chattanooga 10, Detroit Mercy 7
Chattanooga struck early in the bottom half of the first after an Emma Sturdivant single through the right side scored Kacie Lynch, who reached base via hit-by-pitch.
Detroit Mercy threatened in the top of the third inning when they smacked three hits in the inning and loaded the bases. With two outs, freshman pitcher Alli Swinford worked out of the jam by striking out a Titans hitter on three pitches.
The Mocs added to their lead in the bottom half of the third when Sturdivant lined a two run single up the middle, extending the margin to 3-0. Freshman Lexee Lamoree pinch hit with the bases loaded and knocked in a run on a ground out to make the Mocs lead 4-0.
The Titans answered with four runs of their own in the top of the fourth to tie the game up. With the bases loaded and one out, a Detroit Mercy hitter was plunked by a Swinford pitch that plated its first run. Freshman Michayla Kelly-Harvey entered the game for Swinford and induced a pop-up to third for the second out. With two outs and a 3-1 count, the Titans drove a ball to the right-center gap that was hauled in for a brief second by a diving Alyssa Coppinger, but fell out of the glove when hitting the ground. The double to the gap scored all three runners and tied the game at 4-4.
A two-out rally was sparked for the Mocs after the momentum swing of the previous inning. Veamoi drew a walk and Walker reached base on a fielding error. Up next was Sturdivant who delivered again in the clutch with a triple down the right field line, scoring both runners and giving the Mocs the lead once again at 6-4. Detroit Mercy plated an unearned run on a passed ball in the fifth to cut their deficit to 6-5.
Chattanooga once again added to their lead in their next trip to the plate. This time Hayleigh Weissenbach roped a two-out, two-RBI double to the wall in left field to give UTC an 8-5 lead. Detroit had an answer yet again, plating a pair of runs on the help of a double and ground out to make it a one run game at 8-7. The Mocs would plate two more unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 10-7 advantage.