UTC Softball Loses To Fordham, South Dakota In Orlando Tournament

Saturday, February 08, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. – The UTC softball team suffered back-to-back losses Friday evening in Orlando, Fla., at the UCF Knights Invitational.  Fordham topped UTC 12-3 in an error-riddled performance, and South Dakota proved to be one run better than the Mocs, 5-4, in extra innings.

Coming off a 5-0 win over LIU Brooklyn, momentum helped carry Fordham over Chattanooga in the Mocs season-opener.  A team Chattanooga fell to three times in 2013, the Rams triumphed again through a quick start and a handful of UTC miscues.  The Mocs committed five errors over the five-inning game. 

The Rams jumped out to a hot start with a four-run inning over starting pitcher Katie Henderson (Chattanooga, Tenn.).  The sophomore only tossed 0.1 innings before Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) was called on in relief.  The junior was able to pitch the Mocs out of an early jam but not before Fordham pushed four runs across the plate on one hit, one error and four walks.

The Chattanooga offense answered in the second inning with two runs, cutting the lead in half.  Walks issued to Criket Blanco (Maryville, Tenn.) and Shelby Carter (Maple Valley, Wash.) got the ball rolling and a bunt-single from Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) loaded the bases. Alyssa Robles (Lawrenceville, Ga.) punched her ticket with an RBI-single to right field and a bases-loaded walk to senior Kaiti Dutton (Tulsa, Okla.) gave UTC its second run.

Deason kept the Rams off in the bottom of the second, and Chattanooga tacked on a third run in the top of the third to cut the lead to one run.  Blanco tripled down the right-field line on one out and a sacrifice bunt from Roberts scored the sophomore, but the third inning would be the deciding factor in the game.

With two outs on the board, back-to-back errors allowed two Fordham batters to reach base safely.  Two more errors and four hits would ensue to drive in eight runs for the Rams, putting Chattanooga down 12-3.  Centerfielder Sydney Canessa, who was 2-for-4 on the night with an RBI and run scored, was one of four Fordham batters to single and drive in a run during the inning.

The next two innings saw both teams go scoreless, leading to a 12-3, run-ruled game in just five innings.

“It’s disappointing,” Head Coach Frank Reed said. “Despite walking four batters and allowing four runs, our offense battled back and made it a close game.  You can blame it on being our first game, but you can’t begin a game like that and put that pressure on the offense.”

Looking to bounce back in the second game against South Dakota, Chattanooga was disappointed again with an eight-inning loss.

The bats came out swinging in the first inning for Chattanooga as the Mocs put three quick runs in the book.  With the bases loaded, Blanco delivered with a bases-clearing triple to score Sam Taylor (Chickamauga, Ga.), Alyssa Taylorr (Orange, Calif.) and Marina Wilkerson (Hogansville, Ga.).

Freshman Liana Rodrigues (Chattanooga, Tenn.) was handed her first collegiate start against the Coyotes and did not disappoint.  While only tossing 3.1 innings, the right-hander was very effective with five strikeouts, just two walks and three earned runs. 

Trouble in the fourth caused the Mocs to go to Deason in relief.  South Dakota added two runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game 3-3, taking Rodrigues out of the decision and making Deason the pitcher on record.  The Mocs reclaimed the lead on an RBI-single from Blanco to score Sam Taylor who led the inning off with a double down the left-field line.

The Coyotes tied the game 4-4 in the top of the fifth when pinch runner Katelyn Wudel moved up two bases on a passed ball and throwing error, putting her in position to score on a wild pitch.

Going into extras, South Dakota took advantage of its tie-breaking-runner, Sydney Hancock, when Chattanooga committed its fourth run of the game, a throwing error, to move the runner to third.  That set up the game-winning RBI-single for Christine Broders.  Chattanooga was held hitless and scoreless in the bottom of the eighth.

“We can’t commit that many errors and expect to win a ball game,” Reed said. “We have to make the routine plays, and errors happen, but you can’t let them happen in those numbers.”

Chattanooga continues the UCF Knights Invitational Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. against LIU Brooklyn.  The Mocs get a one-game break before taking on the host Knights at 1:30 p.m.


Dalton State Booster Club Holiday Basketball Classic Is This Weekend

The Dalton State Men’s Basketball Booster Club will host the second annual Holiday Basketball Classic this weekend at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center’s Mashburn Arena. Dalton State will be joined in the event by Concordia from Selma, Al; the University of the Cumberlands from Williamsburgh, Ky and Cumberland University from Lebanon, Tn.  The Roadrunners ... (click for more)

Running A Family Affair For Jennifer Funk

Running is and has been a family affair for Jennifer Funk for a long time. It’s not that she wanted to be a runner when she was younger, but her father and three sisters were all involved and she got started as a result of peer pressure from her family. Jennifer will celebrate her 45 th birthday on January 1.   She played a lot of sports as a student at Maryville ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Proceed With Manager Bonuses In 2 Steps; Considering Employee Performance Incentive Plan

Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said Wednesday night that the hospital plans to proceed with $1.7 million in manager bonuses in two steps. Current participants in the incentive program will receive 50 percent of the approved 2014 performance plan this month. The remaining 50 percent will be paid to the management group in July 2015. At the same time, Mr. Spiegel ... (click for more)

Caldwell Arrested In Rapes Of 2 Women Over 60 In Brainerd, Hixson; Forced His Way Into Homes

Investigators have made an arrest in the rape cases that were reported last weekend. Taken into custody was Derrick Dewayne Caldwell, 30. He is charged with two counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated burglary. Police said two women over 60 years old were raped in Brainerd and in Hixson in separate incidents. In an incident last Thursday, a woman ... (click for more)

A Letter To The NAACP

I believe when a "unarmed" man is evil, he will try to beat a police officer on his head in hopes to knock him out, in hopes to kill him. We saw the bruises on the officer's face.  This evil force tried to take his gun away from him , Proof was in the autopsy.  Why did Michael Brown  try to take his gun away from him? Exactly, to kill the officer.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last Day Of School

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story first appeared in the Chattanooga News-Free Press in the early 1980s and every year since then I have been asked repeatedly about it. It is easily the most famous story I have ever written – copies have been sent to me from numerous foreign countries -- and it may be the easiest story I ever wrote. All I did was write what the noted religious psychologist ... (click for more)