UTC athletics notebook: Softball Mocs will host U.S women's national team in pre-Olympic tour next spring

Staff photo / UTC softball coach Frank Reed talks to his players during a SoCon game against Furman in May 2017 at Jim Frost Stadium. The Mocs will face the U.S. women's national team at Frost next April as part of the Americans' national tour ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team will face the United States women's national team at Jim Frost Stadium next spring as part of the "Stand Beside Her" tour ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The Chattanooga Sports Committee, USA Softball and UTC are official hosts of the exhibition game, which is set for 6:30 p.m. on April 7.

"We are thrilled to be a part of the Olympic movement by hosting Team USA on their route to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games," CSC president Tim Morgan said in a UTC release announcing the event.

The Americans will be seeking their fourth gold medal at an Olympics, having finished first in Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), Athens (2004) before placing second in Beijing (2008) before the sport was removed from competition for the past two Olympics in London and Rio de Janeiro. In 2016, the International Olympic Committee restored softball to the program for 2020.

The U.S. women's national team will play at Frost for the second time, having also scrimmaged the Mocs before winning gold in 2000.

"Having the opportunity to coach internationally for the last couple years, I know how exciting it is to play Team USA," veteran Mocs coach Frank Reed, who has Olympic experience as an assistant for Mexico, said in the release. "I know our kids are going to be very excited for the opportunity to play Team USA. The Chattanooga community is a softball community, so I know they'll come out in full force to watch this great team the United States has put together."

Tickets can be purchased at teamusachattanooga.com.

Men's golf signee is one of nation's best

The UTC men's golf team officially secured the addition of one of the country's top high school golfers Monday when Alcoa standout Braedon Wear signed a national letter of intent to join the Mocs.

Wear, who committed to UTC early in his prep career, is the highest-ranked junior golfer to make his way to the program, according to the Mocs' release announcing his addition.

"He's the No. 1 player in Tennessee and one of the top juniors in the country," UTC coach Mark Guhne said in the release. "He could have gone just about anywhere in the country, and believe me, he could've changed course at any point. Yesterday speaks a lot to his commitment to this program, his character and where we're going together."

Wear is the No. 68 player nationally and No. 1 in Tennessee, according to Golfweek.com. He's No. 22 in the country in the 2020 class and in the top 10 in the Southeast. This past summer, he won the Scott Stallings Junior Championship - an American Junior Golf Association tournament - in Oak Ridge, tied for 13th at the Boys Junior PGA Championship in Florida and was fourth in the Tennessee Junior Amateur at Cleveland Country Club.

"The reason I chose UTC was because the facilities and courses that UTC have are second to none," Wear said in the release. "Coach Guhne was also a huge factor in my decision. He is such a great coach and understands the game, and I feel like he can propel my game to the next level."

Tunnel Hill's McClure joins Mocs for tennis

Jordan McClure, who is from Tunnel Hill, Georgia, and was recently recognized as a three-star recruit and one of the top youth tennis players in the South, has signed with the Mocs.

"I am excited to have Jordan join the Mocs next fall," UTC men's tennis coach Chuck Merzbacher said of the Georgia Connections Academy senior in a release announcing the addition. "Aside from his tennis accomplishments, Jordan is a local athlete and we want to continue to have a strong pull for local and in-state athletes.

"I believe Jordan has tremendous upside and his game is built for college tennis. We are already seeing his ranking improve with each tourney he competes. I look forward to Jordan challenging for the singles and doubles lineups and making contributions to the program as his game progresses."

McClure is the No. 8 player in Georgia and ranked No. 55 in the Southeast Section. He is a member of the ATI Tennis Academy and was a third-place finisher in USTA nationals for team tennis, a doubles finalist at the 2015 USTA Southern Closed and has earned multiple sportsmanship awards at Southern USTA events.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6296. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.