CLEARWATER, Fla. (GoMocs.com) – The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team ended the day on a high note as the Mocs defeated the Black Knights, 6-0 after falling to Syracuse, 2-4 on Saturday at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. Junior Criket Blanco led the Mocs with four hits in the doubleheader while Taylor Deason fired a three-hit shutout against Army.
Game 1: Chattanooga 2, Syracuse 4 The Orange opened the game with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Syracuse's Maddi Doane, who singled down the third base line, advanced to second off a rushed throw from Sarah Beth Roberts. Julie Wambold would run Doane home as she followed up with a double to left field.
Chattanooga threatened in the second as Anyssa Robles blasted a standing double to left center. The catcher rounded out to third off an illegal pitch from ‘Cuse's Jocelyn Cater. Kailey Palazzolo followed in off a walk, setting Mocs on the corners with only one down. However, Cater stopped the Mocs' offensive production with consecutive strikeouts to end the inning.
After both teams were unsuccessful in the third inning, UTC took a 2-1 lead as the Mocs grabbed two runs with a bases loaded two-out walk and a passed ball in the fourth.
Criket Blanco was the first hit for the Mocs in the inning, with a single to right field, advancing senior Nicole Osterman, who reached on a walk, to second base. With one out, Palazzolo was the fourth Moc up in the inning, loading the bases off a walk.
Orange Pitcher, Cater would claim the second Chattanooga out with a strikeout before Marina Wilkerson reached on the innings third walk to bring in Osterman for the run. Bases still loaded, Blanco put in quick work to gain UTC's second run off a passed ball, setting the score, 2-1.
Syracuse responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring three to reclaim the lead at 4-2. The Mocs threatened with the bases loaded in the fifth, a runner on second in the sixth and runners on first and second in the seventh but it wasn't enough to push past Cater, who solidified the 4-2 victory for Syracuse.
Game 2: Chattanooga 6, Army 0 The Mocs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Sarah Beth Roberts blasted a home run past left field after J.J. Hamill reached on an Army error.
Both teams would stay off the scoreboards over the next four innings before Chattanooga collected four hits, to include back-to-back doubles, in that frame to pull out to a 6-0 lead.
Anyssa Robles led off the sixth inning with a walk. Pinching running for Robles, Courtney Ervin advanced to second off a SAC hit from Kailey Palazzolo. Alyssa Taylor pushed Ervin to third as she singled to center field. Marina Wilkerson completed Ervin's run off of a single to left field. With the score 3-0, Sam Taylor doubled to center field, running in A. Taylor and Wilkerson extending the Mocs' lead, 5-0.
Hamill would shadow with a consecutive double to left field, running in S. Taylor for the last run of the game.
Deason (8-3), who struck out seven batters and issued just walk, retired the next four batters to preserve her shutout, giving the Mocs a 6-0 victory.
Chattanooga takes on Boston University at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday.