Frost Classic Schedule Today
11 a.m.--Niagara vs. UT-Martin (Frost Stadium); Cleveland State vs. Dayton (field 1); Ball State vs. Troy (field 3); East Tennessee State vs. Valparaiso (field 4).
1:15 p.m.--UTC vs Valparaiso (Frost); Cleveland State vs. Tennessee Tech (F1); Belmont vs. Purdue (F3); ETSU vs Troy (F4).
3:30 p.m.--UTC vs Niagara (Frost); Dayton vs. Tennessee Tech (F1); Belmont vs. Ball State (F3); UT-Martin vs. Purdue (F4).
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team is set to make its home debut today as the host team at the Frost Classic at Warner Park.
The Lady Mocs (4-4) have two weekends of play under their belts after trips to Florida and Atlanta for tournaments, and today's opening game against Valparaiso will be the first game at Jim Frost Stadium for several UTC players.
That game is set 1:15 p.m., and the Lady Mocs face Niagara at 3:30
The 12-team field also includes Ball State, Belmont, Cleveland (Ohio) State, Dayton, East Tennessee State, Purdue, UT-Martin, Tennessee Tech and Troy.
The Lady Mocs are off to a solid start offensively, batting .322 as a team with nine home runs and 44 runs. Junior second baseman Sara Poteat has taken over as the team's leadoff batter, and she leads the starters in batting average (.483), hits (14) and runs scored (8).
Other veteran players also are off to good starts offensively, with senior designated player Michelle Fuzzard batting .450 with three home runs and 13 RBIs and junior first baseman Kasey Tydinco batting .429. In addition, senior infielder Jessica Traxler has a .348 batting average, and she's second on the team with seven RBIs.
Pitchers Fuzzard and freshman Taylor Deason have combined for a 2.66 earned run average with 35 strikeouts, and they are holding opponents to a .260 batting average.
Coach Frank Reed will be looking for improved production from newcomers this weekend, including freshmen Cheyenne Willis and Nicole Osterman and junior college transfer Ninjja Suetsugu, who each has had significant playing time early this season.
Saturday, UTC will take on East Tennessee State and Purdue, followed by a final game Sunday against Dayton. The ETSU game will be a homecoming of sorts, with former Lady Mocs star Tiffany Baker returning to Frost Stadium as an assistant coach for the Bucs under Brad Irwin, who was a UTC assistant from 2006 to '10.
Get breaking news from the Times Free Press on Twitter at www.twitter.com/timesfreepress or by visiting us on Facebook or Twitter at the right: