The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team celebrates Saturday after beating UNC Greensboro 4-3 in the championship game of the Southern Conference softball tournament in Greensboro, N.C.Photo by SoConSports.com Photo
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team capped an unbeaten run through the Southern Conference tournament with a 4-3 win over tourney host UNC Greensboro to capture the program’s first tournament crown and automatic bid to the NCAA tournament since 2011.
UTC survived a 30-minute lightning delay in the sixth inning and a late rally attempt by the Spartans to win the title after finishing second behind Georgia Southern in the regular-season standings.
Sophomore pitcher Katie Henderson pitched in and out of trouble over 5 2/3 innings, starting and ending the game with junior Taylor Deason pitching well for an inning and a third in the middle of the game. Deason was credited with the win, while Henderson picked up the save to secure the championship.
Henderson, a former Silverdale Baptist Academy standout and transfer from Kentucky, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player with wins in the first three games of the tournament and the save Saturday. She had 32 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings, and UNCG’s two earned runs in the final were the only runs she allowed for the tournament.
Henderson, Jesslyn Stockard, Sarah Beth Roberts and Sam Taylor were named to the all-tournament team.
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 ...