JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (GoMocs.com)– The Chattanooga Mocs softball team (23-8, 6-0 SoCon) won its sixth-straight SoCon game after outlasting ETSU in consecutive wins (game 1: 5-2/game 2: 5-4) at Betty Basler Field on Sunday afternoon.
Game 1: Chattanooga 5, ETSU 4
Chattanooga jumped ahead of the Bucs in the first inning with a quick one-run frame. Designated hitter Jenny Garcia launched her first home run of the season over the wall in leftfield, putting the Mocs up, 1-0.
UTC put another run on the board in the third inning as Osterman blasted her team-leading 10th home run of the season. The senior's homer over the left-center wall was a two-hit run as it also drove in Sam Taylor who had reached on a single up the middle.
ETSU threatened with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning as Buc Mykeah Johnson drove in off of a throw to cut UTC's lead to 3-1.
Relentless, Chattanooga responded with two-run long ball from Jesslyn Stockard over the left field wall, extending the Mocs' lead to 5-1.
After lighting up the scoreboard with five runs and six hits, UTC's offense chased ETSU's starting pitcher Whitney Leon out of the circle. The Bucs would bring in Rebecca Wahrmund to relieve Leon. The mound switch up wouldn't affect the Mocs as Wahrmund tossed the remaining two innings without any stike outs.
ETSU tacked on one more run in the bottom of the sixth as Kelsey Smith doubled to center field, driving in teammate Brooke Baxter from first. However, the Bucs' offensive spurt was short lived as the Mocs suppressed ETSU for the remainder of the game, claiming the win, 5-2.
While the Mocs gave the Buc hurlers trouble, Chattanooga freshman lefty Cori Jennings outlasted a few threats from ETSU's offense to throw another victorious complete game pitcher. Jennings stuck out three batters to register her 10th win in the circle this season.
Game 2: Chattanooga 5, ETSU 4
The second game of the day saw the Mocs claim a tight 5-4 pitching duel over the Bucs Sunday afternoon. Both Taylor Deason and Kailey Palazzolo were called on to deal in the final game against ETSU starter Madison Ogle.
ETSU struck first with two runs in the bottom of the second inning as a single to right field from Emilie Hensley drove in Bucs from second and third.
The Mocs battled back with solid defense, restraining the Bucs to a scoreless third inning. However, Kelsey Smith knocked out a homer to left field on her third pitch to extend ETSU's advantage to 3-0.
Still in the game, Chattanooga rallied for two runs in the top of the fifth inning. Sam Taylor led off the frame with a double to left center and was run in by fellow outfielder Nicole Osterman, who doubled to right center. Sprinting around the diamond, Osterman found home plate off a throw to set the Mocs only one behind ETSU at 3-2.
The Bucs looked to cushion their lead with single run in the bottom of the fifth, but were matched with two Chattanooga runs added at the top of the sixth. Senior Marina Wilkerson scored off a throwing error by ETSU third baseman Kelsey Smith while a double from Jenny Garcia brought in Sam Taylor.
Getting down to the wire, with the game tied 4-4 after six innings, Chattanooga carefully used its final three outs to secure one run. Amanda Ross put the Mocs in scoring position with a double to left field and Alyssa Taylor answered with a sacrifice fly to bring in pinch runner Courtney Ervin from third.
Holding the lead for the first time, UTC picked off ETSU's last three batters in order to steal the series finale, 5-4.
The Mocs are back in action Tuesday night as they take on Tennessee Tech for a single game set to being at 6 p.m. ET at Frost Stadium.