UTC Splits SoCon Openers Against Appy St.
BOONE, N.C. (GoMocs.com)– The Chattanooga Mocs softball team settled for a Saturday split with Appalachian State to bring both teams' Southern Conference records even at 1-1. The Mountaineers won the first contest 4-1 before Chattanooga turned around and claimed the second game 4-1 over Appalachian.
"We lost the first game but rebounded well in the second," Head Coach Frank Reed said. "That is the nature of this team. It's not one to get down and not be able to bounce back. This team is full of fighters."
Chattanooga 1 – Appalachian State 4
Chattanooga suffered its first Southern Conference loss of the season in a 4-1 defeat to Appalachian State in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader. Four errors and just two Mocs' hits led to the Chattanooga downfall.
"I think this may be a wake-up call for us," Reed said. "Conference games are tough and we can't come out not ready to play. We have to go into every game ready to compete because conference play is so much different than the preseason."
Despite giving up just one earned run over 4.1 innings of work, starting pitcher Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) suffered her sixth loss of 2014. The junior whiffed four batters and allowed just three hits. Sophomore Katie Henderson (Hixson,Tenn.) came on in relief of Deason, throwing 1.2 innings, and yielding both a hit and a run.
The Mountaineers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on two hits and two errors. A single from right fielder Dani Heichen singled to begin the inning and stole second. A fielding error moved Heichen to third and a fielding error, off the bat of second baseman Cynthia Gomez, allowed both runners aboard to score.
Chattanooga battled for one run in the top of the fourth on two hits. Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) singled to second base and advanced to second on a fielder's choice. In scoring position, Taylor came around to score on a Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) double to center to cut the lead in half.
Leading by one, App added on two more runs in the fourth and sixth innings to put the game out of reach.
Chattanooga 4 – Appalachian State 1
The second game saw Chattanooga down ASU with the same score as the first game, this time with the Mocs coming out on top. The one-run complete game from Henderson was topped off by a first-career homerun from senior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.).
The home team jumped on the board first with a run in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, catcher Sarah Warnock slammed a solo-homerun to dead-center to put App up 1-0.
Despite the deficit, Chattanooga rallied back with two runs in the top of the fourth on just one hit. Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) walked with one out and Marina Wilkerson (Hogansville, Ga.) pinch ran for the catcher. Shortstop Criket Blanco (Maryville, Tenn.) blooped a single to right to put two on. A sacrifice bunt from Tyler Templet (Woodstock, Ga.) scored the first run and an RBI groundout from sophomore Amanda Ross (Torrance, Calif.) gave the Mocs a 2-1 lead.
UTC added on its insurance runs in the seventh inning on a Dutton solo homerun to left. With the wind blowing out, the senior's high fly found the jet stream and carried out of Sywassink-Lloyd Family Satdium.
"I felt like she was seeing the ball really well," Reed said. "I had a good feeling about her hitting a homerun, but I expected her to pull it to the short-porch in right. Instead she took it to opposite field and got all of it."
Henderson came away with the win after fanning nine Appalachian State batters. The sophomore also allowed just five hits and one earned run.
Chattanooga is scheduled to take on the Mountaineers Sunday at 1 p.m., but rain could either push the game time forward or suspend the game.