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UTC coach Frank Reed talks with batter J.J. Hamill during the Mocs' nonconference softball game against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at Jim Frost Stadium in Chattanooga

Frank Reed was named Southern Conference softball coach of the year Tuesday after directing the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to the program's 14th regular-season league championship, and six of his players earned league honors as well.

Reed surpassed 1,000 career wins this season and guided the Mocs to a 32-13 record and a 12-5 mark in SoCon play. UTC has two wins over Top 25 teams and enters the conference tournament at 45 in the NCAA RPI rankings.

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It is the eighth time Reed has been named SoCon coach of the year.

UTC junior second baseman Criket Blanco joined senior third baseman Sarah Beth Roberts and senior outfielder Nicole Osterman in earning All-SoCon first-team honors, tied with UNC Greensboro for the most for any team.

Blanco has batted .366 this season with 38 runs, 29 RBIs and a league-high four sacrifice flies. Roberts is .383 at the plate and ranked in the top 10 in the league in eight categories, and Osterman tied for the most home runs in the league with 12 and has a .706 slugging percentage.

Freshman shortstop J.J. Hamill was named second-team All-SoCon after starting 33 games with a .906 fielding percentage. She also had four home runs and 14 RBIs in her first season of college play.

Hamill also made the league's all-freshman team along with UTC pitchers Cori Jennings and Kailey Palazzolo.

Jennings led the Mocs with 13 wins and recorded 76 strikeouts. She has allowed only three home runs and has a 2.75 ERA.

Palazzolo, who pitches and bats, has 14 RBIs on 23 hits while compiling a 6-1 pitching record. Her eight-inning, four-hit pitching performance Sunday was a key in the Mocs' 4-3 win over Samford to claim the regular-season title.

Contact Jim Tanner at sports@timesfreepress.com. Follow him at twitter.com/JFTanner.

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