BOONE, NC (WRCB/UTC) -- Vivian Morimoto hit a grand slam as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team hit three home runs en route to an 8-1 rout of Elon on Wednesday in the opening round of the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament.
Michelle Fuzzard and Kasey Tyndincgo each hit a solo home run in the fifth inning for the second-seeded Lady Mocs, who advance to play No. 3 College of Charleston in a winner's bracket game at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday.
"We were on pitches and put the ball in play to drive in runners during the early innings," said head coach Frank Reed. "It seemed like once we hit that first home run, it was all down hill from there. Once we got rolling, the grand slam by Vivian Morimoto put it out of reach.
"Hopefully, we can continue to have hot bats as the tournament progresses."
Sarah Poteat's second-inning sacrifice fly put UTC on the board first, then Sarah Beth Roberts delivered an RBI single for a 2-0 lead in the third.
Fuzzard's 15th homer of the season made it 3-0 in the fifth, and Tydingco followed two batters later with her 12th long ball of the year.
The seventh-seeded Phoenix finally cracked the scoreboard when Carleigh Nester led off the sixth inning with a solo shot off Taylor Deason.
But Chattanooga (38-14) quickly rebounded in the bottom half of the inning. Cheyenne Willis reached on a one-out single, then Stephanie Rieck was hit by a pitch and Fuzzard was intentionally walked to load the bases for Morimoto's blast.
It was the second straight game with a grand slam for UTC's senior catcher, who hit the first of her career in Sunday's season-finale win at UNC Greensboro.
"It was awesome," Fuzzard said of Morimoto's grand slam. "I knew that it was a mistake to intentionally walk me because I have seen her do it before. Obviously they didn't (think it was a mistake).
"She is awesome in coming through during those pressure cooker situations."
Deason tossed a complete-game three-hitter to set a new UTC all-time freshman record with 23 wins. The true freshman struck out five and walked just two.
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