The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team failed to get a win in its first weekend of the 2014 season, but the defense and pitching took a positive step Sunday in the Lady Mocs' final game at the UCF Knights Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
UTC (0-4) battled toe-to-toe with Kansas out of the Big 12 before falling 1-0 in a pitching duel.
Lady Mocs junior Taylor Deason pitched a complete-game six-hitter, striking out seven batters.
Even more encouraging for UTC was a strong performance in the field. After committing 13 errors in their first three games, the Lady Mocs had none against Kansas.
Kansas pitcher Kelsey Kessler kept the Lady Mocs offense in check, however. The sophomore struck out a school-record 15 and allowed only four hits.
The lone run came in the fourth inning. Deason hit Harli Ridling with a pitch leading off the inning, and pinch runner Shannon McGinley moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a hit by Maddie Stein.
Anyssa Robles had a hit for UTC and leads the team with a .538 batting average. Sarah Beth Roberts, Kati Tutton and Stephanie Rieck also had hits in the loss.
UTC will head west to play in the UNLV Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas starting Friday. The Lady Mocs are scheduled to face Boise State, BYU, Nevada, Oregon and Ohio State over the weekend.