BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team shook off a slow start Sunday before wrapping up an eye-popping offensive weekend Sunday with a 15-5 win over Samford to close out a three-game Southern Conference series sweep.
UTC (31-14, 14-2 SoCon) outscored Samford 38-5 over the weekend, and got a bit of help in its chase for a sixth consecutive regular season league championship. Appalachian State beat Georgia Southern 3-2 on Sunday to allow the Lady Mocs to pull even with GSU in the loss column with two weekends remaining in the season.
Samford (11-34, 4-14) struck first Sunday, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning against starter Michelle Fuzzard.
UTC got two runs in the second and trailed 5-2 heading to the third inning when the offense awoke. The Lady Mocs scored 10 runs in the third on eight hits, highlighted by shortstop Jessica Traxler's three-run home run.
Offense was once again the name of the game for UTC on Sunday as they went 15-for-27 at the plate as a team.
The Lady Mocs entered last week with the fifth-best batting average in NCAA Division I softball, and after batting .494 over the weekend, they have boosted their team average 12 points in a week to .352, which is likely to push them even higher in the national rankings.
Fuzzard also homered in the win -- her 10th of the season -- and she and Traxler each had four RBIs. Stephanie Rieck continued her good work at the plate since moving up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup, going 3-for-4 with a pair or RBIs.
Freshman Taylor Deason picked up her 18th pitching win of the season in relief with 3 2/3 innings of perfection, allowing no hits or walks while striking out seven.
UTC returns to Jim Frost Stadium this weekend for its final home games of the year with a weekend series against Furman, starting with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday.