published Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Hilltoppers upset No. 2 UT in softball

The No. 2-ranked Tennessee softball team endured its second loss of the season Saturday in its own tournament in Knoxville.

The Lady Vols (19-2) fell behind early in falling 3-2 to Western Kentucky in the Tennessee Tournament.

WKU (14-6-1) jumped on Tennessee pitcher Rainey Gaffin in the third inning when left fielder Kelsie Mattox doubled in Preslie Cruce and Brooke Holloway. The Hilltoppers added another run in the fifth inning on a single by shortstop Amanda Thomas.

The Lady Vols rallied in the bottom of the seventh when Cheyanne Tarango hit a two-run home run, but WKU pitcher Emily Rousseau shut them down after that to seal the upset win.

Gaffin took the pitching loss for UT, giving up six hits and three walks in six innings. Rousseau (8-5) struck out 10 Lady Vols batters and gave up five hits.

Tennessee concludes the tournament today with games at 2 and 4:30 p.m. against Georgia Southern and College of Charleston.

UTC splits again

For the second day in a row, UT-Chattanooga split a pair of games Saturday at the USF Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla., losing 5-1 to Central Michigan before beating Fordham 10-3.

The Lady Mocs (12-11) struggled defensively against Central Michigan with three errors, including two in the bottom of the third inning that resulted in four unearned runs, and got little going on offense.

UTC took the early lead when Jesslyn Stockard scored on an error in second inning, but that's all the damage the Lady Mocs could do against CMU pitchers Chelsea Sundberg and Rachael Knapp.

Junior pitcher Taylor Deason started for UTC and gave up four unearned runs on two hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings. Sophomore Rachel Albritton gave up a fifth-inning run in relief.

Against Fordham, UTC overcame an early 3-1 deficit with three runs in the second inning and blew the game open with a pair of runs in the sixth inning and a four-run seventh.

Sarah Beth Roberts led the Mocs with three hits and four RBIs, and senior outfielder Kaiti Dutton went 3-for-4 and scored two runs. Alyssa Taylor, Anyssa Robles and Criket Blanco each had two hits, with Blanco knocking in three runs and Taylor scoring three in the win.

Katie Henderson (5-4) started in the pitching circle and picked up the win. She gave up three unearned runs on three hits and two walks over four innings and had five strikeouts. Deason allowed just one hit with three strikeouts in three innings of relief.

The Lady Mocs will wrap up play in Clearwater this morning with a game against Toledo at 11:15. They will play a doubleheader at Austin Peay on Wednesday and open Southern Conference play next weekend at Appalachian State.

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