DeLAND, Fla. (GoMocs.com)– The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team swept No. 25 Kansas and LaSalle in consecutive 4-0 victories on Saturday in the Stetson Tournament.
The Mocs (13-5) handed the Jayhawks their second loss of the season, and first no-run game, snapping Kansas' seven-game winning streak, 4-0.
Chattanooga followed with the day's second, 4-0 victory over the Explorers, giving LaSalle its fourth straight loss of the season.
Game 1: Chattanooga 4, Kansas 0
In the first game of the day, the teams went scoreless through the first three innings.
Leading Chattanooga into the top of the fourth, Sarah Beth Roberts blasted a home run to left center, giving the Mocs a 1-0 favor. The hit was her fourth homer of the season.
The Mocs' defense sustained Chattanooga's lead, keeping the Jayhawks to zeros runs or hits in the bottom of the fourth. Jennings would strike out Kansas's power hitter Jessie Roane, while Kailey Palazzolo caught a popped up foul ball down the right line and Criket Blanco connected a ground ball to Palazzolo at first.
The teams would pressure each other to a scoreless fifth inning.
Nicole Osterman would give UTC a burst of energy as the second Chattnooga batter up at the top of the sixth. Osterman blasted a hard hit to left center to double and advance Roberts to third.
With the Mocs hot on the bat, Blanco followed in with a single to left field, running in Roberts and putting Chattanooga up, 2-0.
A shot down the center by Anyssa Robles added another run for UTC, running in Osterman. With the score set at 3-0, the Jayhawks were forced to make their fourth pitching change of the game. However, the change on defense for the nationally ranked opponent, didn't scare the Mocs as Marina Wilkerson singled to run in Blanco giving Chattanooga a 4-0 advantage.
The teams made it a quick final inning as they both went down in order.
Chattanooga's 4-0 victory over No. 25 Kansas gave Cori Jennings her fifth win of the season. Pitching all seven innings, the freshman fanned six strikes while only giving up three hits.
Game 2: Chattanooga, LaSalle
Carrying over their momentum from their 4-0 sweep over the No. 25 Jayhawks, the Mocs wasted no time igniting at the bat.
The second batter up for the Mocs, J.J. Hamill singled to center field. An illegal pitch from Explorer, McKenzie Peace advanced the freshman to second.
Sarah Beth Roberts hit a single to center field and a bad infield toss from LaSalle allowed the third baseman to advance to second as Hamill ran to third.
Nicole Osterman would load the bases with the first walk of the game.
With the diamond loaded, Criket Blanco singled to left field running in Hamill, giving the Mocs an early 1-0 lead.
UTC clipped on one more run in the bottom of the third as Osterman doubled off of a smoked shot to left field. The senior stayed quick on her feet to slide into third on a wild pitch. Blanco put up a sacrifice fly to center field, running in Osterman and extending UTC's advantage to 2-0 over LaSalle.
The Mocs' last offensive drive came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Roberts reached second off of a hit to left field and Osterman followed with a single. Blanco followed her teammates in on a fielder's choice that caught Roberts out on third.
With runners still on second and first Robles secured the offense with a fly out to left center allowing Osterman and Blanco to advance one base each.
Two outs on the board, Kailey Palazzolo stepped to the plate with confidence locking a single to run in Osterman.
Alyssa Taylor followed with a single of her own to drive in Blanco, pushing Chattanooga's favor to 4-0.
Leading Chattanooga on defense, Taylor Deason put out nine strikes allowing only one walk. Pitching an unbreakable seven innings, the senior limited the Explorers to its second game of the season with no runs and its lowest hitting game of the season with only two hits secured.