CULLOWHEE, N.C. — With Michelle Fuzzard taking command of a battle with Tiffany Baker for the school’s single-season record for runs batted in, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team beat Western Carolina 12-4 and 13-0 in a Southern Conference doubleheader Saturday.
The teams conclude their regular seasons with another game this afternoon.
Fuzzard and Baker both broke Angela Brewer’s 2002 record of 55 RBIs in the first game Saturday, Baker going to 56 with one run driven in and Fuzzard passing both with three RBIs to get to 57. Then in game two, Fuzzard was 3-for-3 with her 12th home run of the season, a double and five RBIs, setting the record temporarily at 62. She’s also now tied for second in career homers behind Baker.
Nikki Watters (10-3) pitched a five-inning one-hitter in game two, when fellow UTC seniors Lyndsey Stiles and Lauren Flores each scored three runs and leadoff batter Stiles and No. 2 hitter Sara Poteat each had two hits and two RBIs. Vivian Morimoto was 2-for-4 with two runs, Della Harrison was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Jenni Martin had a two-run pinch-hit double.
Amber Steinhardt had the lone hit off Waters, a fourth-inning single, after going 2-for-3 in the first game for WCU (18-33, 3-20).
Fuzzard was the starting pitcher in the opener and allowed all four WCU runs, and the Lady Mocs (37-12, 19-3) trailed 4-2 after the first batter Kandice Irwin faced in relieving her in the third inning — Erin Foster — tripled in two runs. But Irwin (10-3) was perfect the rest of the way, striking out four batters, and UTC jumped ahead with a five-run fourth inning featuring RBI singles by Fuzzard and Baker and a three-run homer by Morimoto.
Jessica Traxler added a grand slam for UTC in the seventh inning.
Morimoto was 3-for-5 with four RBIs of her own, Fuzzard also was 3-for-5 and Poteat and Stiles went 3-for-3 and 2-for-4 and matched Morimoto’s two runs scored.
Stiles also recorded her 32nd stolen base of the season, breaking Jeannie Cochran’s UTC record, and is nine from Cochran’s career standard of 94.
At Hattiesburg, Miss., GPS alumna Kamri Chester scored the first run of the day and singled in the tying run in game two as Memphis beat Southern Miss 4-1 and 4-3 in Conference USA softball.
Gordon Lee graduate Maddie McKinley’s two-run single gave Memphis (34-11, 14-7) a 3-0 lead in the opener, and she scored on Chester’s hit in game two. Another former GPS star, Jessica Phillips, was 1-for-2 in game one and her pinch runner scored the winning run in the rematch.