Five current and former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball players will play for Puerto Rico, Brazil and Mexico in the Pan American Classic starting next Saturday in Puerto Rico, and former UTC coach and current University of Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly will be on the Team USA staff for that Pan Am Games qualifier and the Mayor’s Cup that runs Tuesday through Friday. Weekly and her husband, Ralph, led the Lady Vols to a runner-up finish in the 2013 Women’s College World Series. Representing the host country from UTC in the Aug. 10-18 tournament in Guaynabo, P.R., will be current Lady Mocs outfielder Nicole Osterman, while pitcher Jenny Garcia is set to play for Colombia. Vivian Morimoto from the 2011 and ‘12 squads and Ninjja Suetsugu from the 2012 and ‘13 teams will play for their native Brazil, and December 2012 graduate Jessica Traxler will be on the Mexican national team, which will be in the same pool as Puerto Rico. Colombia and Brazil will be together in another pool. “I think this is a great opportunity for these women, and it offers amazing exposure for Chattanooga,” UTC coach Frank Reed said in a school release. “To have four international teams represented by active and former Lady Mocs makes us proud as coaches to have those kids playing at such high levels of competition.” Said Morimoto: “I think this shows that Chattanooga sports a great level of softball.” Reed added that he hopes “it is a great learning experience for Jenny and Nikkie, and hopefully they can bring that experience with them back to Chattanooga.”
Seth Ruhling from Collegedale Academy and Patrick Shultz from Walker Valley High School are among the five men’s cross country recruits for 2013 announced Friday by Lee University coach Caleb Morgan. The others are Keenen Hinds from Arnold, Mo., Austin Schetrompf from Williamsport, Md., and Blake Smith from Fullerton, Calif. Ruhling comes from a perennially strong Class A/AA program that can’t compete in the state meet because it’s held on Saturday, and he was the Region 3 runner-up last fall and won 3200- and 1600-meter sub-sectional titles in track. “Seth is the ideal athlete we like to recruit,” Morgan said in a Lee release. “He has an incredible work ethic and will do anything you ask him to.” Shultz was an all-state 4x800 performer as a freshman. “Patrick is one of the most talented athletes we have ever signed,” Morgan said. “I coached him his sophomore and junior years of high school, and I look forward to working with him again. He is the fastest two-miler out of high school we have ever signed.” Hindes was a three-time 4x800 all-stater, while Schetrompf was all-state with a 16:26 5k time and 4:56.7 and 10:28.1 1600 and 3200 times. Smith had a 16:24 5k in high school.
Thursday is the annual UTC Mocs Club Night at a Chattanooga Lookouts baseball game, and all Mocs supporters are invited to join UTC coaches and staff for the 7:15 contest against the Huntsville Stars. The Mocs Club will host a picnic beginning at 6 in the pavilion on the first-base side of AT&T Field, and anyone can have a full picnic meal — hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, baked beans, slaw, Mayfield ice cream sandwiches and drinks — plus a game ticket for $20. Draft beer will be available for $1 until game time, and soft drinks and water will be complimentary throughout the game. Fans wanting to take part in the picnic must preorder tickets through Ryan Lowe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-5866. Also, football season-ticket buyers can pick up their ticket packages that night, and 2013 season-ticket owners can get two free tickets to the Lookouts game. New UTC vice chancellor and athletic director David Blackburn is set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Season tickets can be bought at GoMocs.com or 266-MOCS.