University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball catcher Anyssa Robles usually goes by the nickname "Roby" among her teammates, but after the past week folks might start calling her "Clutch" as well.
Robles had walk-off winning hits in the Mocs' regular-season finale last Sunday and their first two games of the Southern Conference tournament, and she batted in two of the runs in UTC's 3-1 win over Mercer in Saturday's championship game at Frost Stadium.
Not surprisingly, she was named most outstanding player of the tournament. UTC pitcher Taylor Deason and outfielder Nicole Osterman also were chosen for the all-tournament team.
"Anyssa had an amazing, amazing tournament," UTC coach Frank Reed said. "She's just that type of player. ... I'm really proud of her."
The junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., went 5-for-11 in the tournament with six RBIs. Half of those came on a homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh in Friday's win over Mercer that got the Mocs to Saturday's title game.
Her two-run extra-inning hit last Sunday gave the Mocs a 4-3 win over Samford and the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
"Hitters get hot, then teams get hot, and she got hot," Reed said. "Everybody knew she was going to hit it, and she knew she was going to hit it. She had that confidence, and that's something that when you've got it you've got it and you just capitalize on it.
"She hit in the right spot. We moved her up to the five-hole, and it was just a great situation."
The only thing harder than getting Robles out may be getting her to talk about her accomplishments. Following the championship-game win, she repeatedly turned questions about her performance into praise for her teammates.
"It feels really good," she said of the Mocs' SoCon title when asked about her individual award. "I think this one is a little sweeter than last year. We put in so much hard work this season, and it was well deserved."
"Our team has so much fight, it's unbelievable."
As a catcher, Robles is involved in every play in the game, taking signals from coaches in the dugout, working to frame pitches as strikes and working to put her pitcher in the best position to get outs.
"It's definitely a different mentality to be a catcher: You've got a lot on your plate," Reed said. "But kids who are that type of player, they love that mentality where they have their hands on everything. That's what she wants to do.
"She's really well balanced. She hasn't hit that many home runs, but when she does it's usually really crucial."
Deason had no doubt about who deserved the MOP honor. After her complete-game four-hitter Saturday to win the championship game and put her into the discussion about the award, she was having none of it.
"I'll tell you one thing," Deason said. "They better be glad they didn't give me that MVP award, because I was taking it straight to Roby."
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