Lady Mocs drop series finale as UNCG sweeps the weekend
Entering the day on a three-game skid and searching for offense, the Chattanooga Mocs softball team saw a late lead evaporate on a defensive miscue and dropped a 4-3 decision to UNCG on Sunday afternoon at Frost Stadium.
Chattanooga (23-11, 2-4 SoCon) suffered the three-game series sweep to UNCG (20-12, 4-2 SoCon) and has now lost its last four games by a combined six runs.
UNCG 4, Chattanooga 3
Chattanooga's Celie Hudson and UNCG's Stephanie Bryden each earned the start in the circle for the respective teams which set up for a game one pitching rematch, a 2-0 victory for UNCG.
Both pitchers continued to impress on Sunday, combining to allow only one hit over the first three innings while retiring the side three times and striking out nine times. Bryden registered seven of the punch-outs while holding UTC hitless during that span.
It would be the bottom of the fourth when seniors Emma Sturdivant and Halie Williamson provided the spark to plate the game's first runs. Sturdivant ripped a one-out single to center before Williamson lined her third homer of the season over the left field fence to put Chattanooga ahead 2-0.
Hudson stranded a pair of UNCG runners to end the fifth before finding herself in a bases-loaded jam with no outs an inning later. She induced a pair of soft grounders, which resulted in two force plays at the plate and set up a bases-loaded, two-out situation.
UNCG's Hannah Kincer lifted a soft fly ball to right-center that ultimately found its way to the grass due to a fielding error by the UTC outfield, allowing two unearned runs to come in and score.
During the same play, the toss back in to the infield went wide and rolled out of the field of play, granting the go-ahead run home and putting the Spartans ahead 3-2.
Aly Walker didn't wait long to create UTC's response towards the tough defensive inning. Walker led the home half of the sixth off with a solo homer, her second of the season, over the right-field fence to tie things up 3-3.
After a fly out to center kicked off UNCG's seventh inning, a hit-by-pitch and double off the bat of Marissa Sholtes landed runners at second and third with two outs. Hudson recorded a strikeout for out number two, but surrendered an RBI single from Katie Stettler through the right side which put the Spartans back in front, 4-3.
Hayleigh Weissenbach tried to build a seventh-inning rally with a leadoff double to left, but that would be as far as she reached after a pair of strikeouts and a groundout ended the comeback efforts.
Hudson (7-8) suffered the loss in the circle but allowed just one earned run and five hits over a full 7.0 innings of work. It marked the fifth time this season she tossed all 7.0 innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs.
Chattanooga finished with both five hits and five runners left on base during the loss. The offense has totaled just 19 hits over its last four games after racking up 36 in the three contests prior.