Big innings were the order of the day for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team on Sunday as the Lady Mocs beat Appalachian State 9-0 and 13-2 in a pair of five-inning blowouts at Jim Frost Stadium.
In the second game, UTC (21-7, 5-0 SoCon) scored 13 runs and sent 17 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning for the most runs in an inning against a conference foe in school history.
UTC had 10 hits and two walks in the inning and took advantage of two Mountaineer errors in the inning.
Sara Poteat, Della Harrison and Jessica Traxler each had two hits in the inning, and Harrison had four RBIs on a run-scoring single followed by a bases-loaded triple in her second plate appearance of the inning. Traxler had three RBIs on a single and a double, and first baseman Kasey Tydingco had a pair of RBIs in the frame.
“Honestly, and the fact that we just come out and do what we have to do, it shows a lot because it’s what we’re supposed to do every game,” Harrison said. “We come out and hit, show our offense and back up our defense.”
The 13-run first inning gave starting pitcher Nikki Waters more than enough support to earn her fourth win of the season. Waters allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and struck out three in the win.
“It takes a lot of pressure off the pitchers because we know that we have a lot to work with,” she said. “It’s just really nice to have as a pitcher.”
In the first game, third baseman Tiffany Baker hit a pair of home runs, including a second-inning grand slam to cap a six-run second inning against the Mountaineers (11-16, 4-4).
Baker was 2-for-3 in the first game and finished the day 3-for-5 with seven RBIs and four runs scored.
Baker said that the Lady Mocs wanted to perform well for new assistant coach Amy Herrington-Woodard, who was the head coach at Appalachain State last season.
“I think we just came out hitting because of Coach Amy, really,” Baker said. “All the agression and stuff like that just went into the ball today.”
UTC pitcher Michelle Fuzzard had a spectacular day in the circle. Fuzzard came within one pitch of a perfect game, allowing no walks or runs beforel Sarah Rappe’s single on a 2-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Lady Mocs will host Georgia State on Wednesday in a mid-week nonconference game doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. at Frost Stadium. UTC will then hit the road this weekend for a three-game series against preseason SoCon favorite Elon.
Jim Tanner has worked as assistant sports editor at the Times Free Press since late 2006. He started at the Times Free Press in 2001 and worked as a news copy/design editor from 2001 through 2006. In addition to working as a night and weekend editor producing local and national sports coverage for print and online readers, Jim occasionally writes local sports and outdoors stories. Jim grew up in Ringgold, Ga., and is a graduate ...