Lady Mocs Split At UNLV Easton Desert Softball Classic

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Three-run bombs from Chattanooga’s Jesslyn Stockard (Ringgold, Ga.) and Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) helped to lead the Mocs to a 10-6 victory over Nevada Saturday morning, and despite going down as a loss in the record book, No. 10 Oregon narrowly escaped becoming the third win in a row for UTC.  The Ducks were able to get away with a 6-2 victory Saturday afternoon.

The Chattanooga offense was awake and ready Saturday morning in its game against Nevada.  Claiming its second win in as many days, the Mocs rocked the Wolfpack for 10 hits, 10 runs and two three-run homeruns en route to its four-run win.  The offense was capped off with superb pitching performances from sophomore Rachel Albritton (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and junior Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.).

The visiting Mocs jumped out to a one-run advantage in the first inning on a sacrifice fly ball from sophomore Criket Blanco (Maryville, Tenn.).  With the bases loaded, the shortstop sent a long fly ball to the fence in right.  Caught on the warning track, sophomore Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.), was able to take up from third and score the game’s first run.

Nevada tied the game in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice bunt and took the lead in the second on a throwing error.  An unearned run charged to Albritton, a throwing error from second to third allowed Nevada centerfielder Sara Parsons to score from second base.  The wolfpack added to its lead in the third on a solo homerun to centerfield off the bat of Jasmine Jenkins.

The fourth inning was scoreless for both teams, and Chattanooga chipped into the lead with one run in the top of the fifth.  The bottom of the inning saw Nevada add on two more runs, pushing the score to 5-2, with back-to-back solo homeruns from Ashley Butera and Megan Sweet.

Albritton was pulled after giving up the two homers, giving way for Deason, and the Chattanooga bats took the sophomore off the hook for the loss in the top of the sixth with eight runs scored.  Beginning with Blanco doubling, eight consecutive Mocs reached base safely and scored before an out was recorded.  Junior Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) was the only batter in the parade to not get a hit, reaching and later scoring on a fielder’s choice.  As part of the seven-hit, six-run inning, two were three-run homeruns.  Stockard slammed her first career homerun, and hit, to straight-away center before Alyssa Taylor crushed her second long-ball of the weekend to nearly the same spot.

In relief of Albritton, Deason picked up the win.  Albritton went 4.2 innings, yielding just four hits and four earned runs, while Deason went 2.1 innings, allowed four hits and picked up her first win of the season.

Chattanooga was handed its second loss of the tournament with a 6-2 victory for the Oregon Ducks Saturday afternoon.  Despite picking up four runs and nine hits against the nation’s No. 10 team, Chattanooga came up three runs shy of upsetting the Ducks.

The Mocs scored the first run of the game in the second inning when sophomore Jenny Garcia (Miami, Fla.) singled through the left side to score Roberts from third base. 

Oregon jumped ahead in the bottom half of the second with six runs on six hits.  The major blow came with the bases loaded as Janie Takeda put a grand slam over the centerfield fence off starting pitcher Katie Henderson (Hixson, Tenn.). 

The Mocs cut into the lead with a three-run third.  Sam Taylor singled through the left, her second hit of the game, and Alyssa Taylor singled through the right.  Anyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) singled to left, but Sam Taylor was cut down at the plate.  With two on, Roberts sent a single to center to score Alyssa Taylor, but a throwing error allowed both Robles and Roberts to score on the same play, making the Oregon lead just 6-4. 

Neither team scored beyond the third, giving the game its final tally.  Henderson, while charged with the loss, pitched all six innings for the Mocs.  She was charged with six runs, all earned, while walking two and striking out three.

Chattanooga wraps up the UNLV Easton Desert Classic tomorrow with a 2:30 p.m. Eastern first pitch against Portland State.  Live stats and live audio are available for both games.

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