Area sports notes: UTC's 2020 softball schedule starts with long homestand, includes Auburn, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State later in season

Staff photo by Tim Barber / UTC softball coach Frank Reed and the Mocs went 3-1 at their Chattanooga Challenge at Frost Stadium last season.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team announced Tuesday it will host the U.S. women's national team in an exhibition April 7, but the Mocs are also set for their regular-season schedule that starts Feb. 8 with a three-game series against Austin Peay at Frost Stadium. UTC's first 12 official games of 2020 are at Frost, with the Chattanooga Challenge on Feb. 14-15 including Bowling Green, Indiana State, Marshall, Tennessee Tech and Western Kentucky. The Frost Classic is the next weekend and has the Mocs taking on Miami (Ohio), Saint Louis, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and UNLV. They'll take part in multi-team events in South Carolina and Florida before playing at Georgia Tech on March 18 and hosting Georgia State on March 25. The schedule also includes two Southeastern Conference foes away from Frost - against Mississippi State on April in Lexington, Tennessee, and at Auburn on April 15. UTC hosts East Tennessee State to begin Southern Conference play March 28 and will be home for league series in April against Furman and Mercer. The SoCon tournament starts May 6 in Greensboro, North Carolina.


* Lee University is in the NCAA Division II men's soccer tournament for the first time coming off its first Gulf South Conference title, and the first match for the Flames (12-4-4) in the 40-team event is against North Carolina's Queens University of Charlotte (11-6) Thursday at 6 p.m. in Boca Raton, Florida. Lee is the Super Region 2's No. 9 seed, Queen is No. 8 and the winner will play again at 6 p.m. Saturday against site host and No. 1 seed Lynn (13-1-2). Lee is also in the women's national tournament, and the GSC runner-up Lady Flames (16-5) received a bye as the South Region's No. 2 seed and won't play until Sunday, hosting the winner of Friday's first-round match in Cleveland between Florida's Embry-Riddle (10-5-2), the No. 6 seed, and third-seeded Rollins (12-4-1).


* Sewanee's women spoiled Covenant's home opener Tuesday night, with the Tigers winning 67-55 behind Kinsley Logan's 22 points. Abby Young added 10 and Ellie Treanton nine with 10 rebounds for Sewanee (3-3), which outscored Covenant (1-3) a combined 40-22 in the first and fourth quarters. The Lady Scots had three scorers in double digits - Cosette Kirsch (13), Rachel Thomas (11) and Hannah Monday (10), who blocked four shots and made three steals - and Ruthie Moore had nine rebounds and six assists. Covenant's men also played their home opener but faced and beat Birminghan Southern for the second time this season, winning 88-72 Tuesday with the first victory 71-66 on Nov. 8 as part of Sewanee's Lon Varnell Classic. This time Will Crumly had 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks to lead the Scots (3-0), who got 18 points from Mitchell Hollis, 16 from Chris Barnette and 13 from Zack Allen. Birmingham Southern is 2-3.


* Highland Park Commons is the site of the seventh annual Neighborhood Cup youth soccer tournament from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and the event's noon break will include a ceremony to honor the late Malaki Ward, an Orchard Knob Elementary School student who died Oct. 22 at age 9. Ward played soccer through Chattanooga Sports Ministries, and Saturday will be the first presentation of that organization's Malaki Ward Passion Memorial Award. The award will be given each year at the tourney to a CSM player "who has displayed enthusiasm and excitement" for the organization "both in friendships and in soccer throughout the season," with coaches nominating players and a committee making the selection, according to a release announcing the event.


* LaFayette High School had three recent college signees, with golfers Riley Grant (North Georgia) and Tyler Jackson (Cleveland State) joined by softball player Madison Pettigrew (Shorter) in gaining opportunities to continue playing.

Compiled by Marty Kirkland. Contact him at