UTC Softball Claims 12 SoCon Title; Selection Show Scheduled For Sunday Night

Saturday, May 10, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Chattanooga Mocs claimed their 12th Southern Conference Softball Championship title Saturday afternoon with a 4-3 win over UNCG on its home-turf in Greensboro, N.C.  The first tournament crown since 2011, it’s just the third time in program history Chattanooga has won a SoCon Tournament title when labeled lower than the top seed.  It’s the second time UTC has won the championship as a No. 2 seed.

“Every championship is special,” Head Coach Frank Reed said.
 “I believe this one is especially important, though, because of how far this team has come.  After last season, it is great to see this team achieve what they set out to do.  They’ve brought a championship back to Chattanooga.”

Sophomore hurler Katie Henderson (Hixson, Tenn.) was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.  Sophomores Jesslyn Stockard (Ringgold, Ga.) and Sam Taylor (Ringgold, Ga.), junior Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) and Henderson were named to the All-Tournament team.  Senior Associate Athletics Director Laura Herron was on hand to accept the team’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. 

Stockard put the Mocs up 2-0 in the second inning on a two-run blast to opposite field.  The first baseman’s sixth homerun of her rookie campaign, she became the first Chattanooga freshman to homer in a Southern Conference tournament since Sarah Beth Roberts (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) in 2012.

Henderson’s scoreless streak came to an end in the third inning as Lindsay Thomas lifted a solo-homerun to right to cut the Chattanooga lead in half.  Thomas’ fifth round-tripper of the tournament extended her own individual tournament homerun record.

Finding herself in a tight, bases-loaded spot for the second time on the evening, Henderson was able to work out of the dilemma with great defensive effort.  A ball lifted to left, twisting toward the line, off the bat of Troy Wright was snagged on a at the last second by a diving Nicole Osterman (Kissimmee, Fla.) preserved the Mocs’ 2-1 lead.

Chattanooga extended its lead to two runs in the fourth inning and three runs in the fifth.  Criket Blanco (Maryville, Tenn.) scored the game’s third run after doubling down the line in right to lead off the inning.  Advancing to third on a groundout, Blanco dove into home in the following at-bat on a fielder’s choice.

The run in the fifth came courtesy of Osterman with Alyssa Taylor (Orange, Calif.) on the base paths via a single.  The hard shot through the middle allowed Taylor to beat out a throw from center, putting UTC up 4-1.

Junior Taylor Deason (Clarksville, Tenn.) made a brief appearance for the Mocs in the middle innings as a change of pace.  Entering at the beginning of the fourth inning, Deason gave up just one run.  Allowing the run to score in the fifth – cutting Chattanooga’s lead to 4-2 – Henderson re-entered to close out the inning.

A lightning delay in the sixth put the game on hold for 30 minutes, but the Spartans were able to score a run immediately following the downtime.  With two runners on, Danielle Vega doubled to the fence in left to chop the UTC lead down to one run.

Despite the UNCG momentum, Chattanooga sat the Spartans down in order in the seventh to secure its 12th SoCon Tournament title in program history.

“We needed to win this tournament,” Henderson said. “We’ve had a strong team all season that’s had some tough luck against other conference teams.  We’d worked too hard to come to Greensboro and go home empty handed.”

Deason came away with the win – qualifying in relief – while Henderson’s return in the late innings set her up to receive the save.  Deason improved to 14-7 with the victory while Henderson earned her third save of the season.

The Mocs have their regional fate decided Sunday night.  The NCAA selection show is set for 10 p.m., and will broadcast on ESPNU.  A watch party for the selection show is scheduled for 9 p.m. Sunday at the Downtown Chattanooga Buffalo Wild Wings on Market Street.

Phillips, Marlier Win SuperHero 10K At Enterprise South

You’ve never seen such a gathering of SuperHero characters as that at the Enterprise South Nature Park Saturday morning. Oh, they came for a good cause as they were participating in the Third Annual SuperHero 5K and 10K races in a highly-energized event that benefitted the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  The race was sponsored by Affordable Botox. John ... (click for more)

Complete Results From SuperHero 10K & 5K

********** OVERALL LISTING - 10K ********** **** OVERALL FEMALE **** Place O'All Name                 Ag Div   Hometown             Guntime Pace     ===== ===== ==================== == ===== ==================== ... (click for more)

Jury Finds In Favor Of Texas Sheriff In Suit Brought By Chattanooga Photographer

A Federal Court jury on Friday found in favor of a Texas sheriff and his chief deputy who had been sued by a Chattanooga photographer. The jury in the courtroom of Judge Curtis Collier awarded no damages to Donna Johnson. In his closing argument after a two-week civil trial, attorney John Anderson said, "This is about the Fourth Amendment." Attorney Anderson represented Ms. ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Mackey Should Be Thankful For The State Troopers On Highway 153

This is in response to a statement made by Warren Mackey at the commission meeting.  His question was to the mayor regarding the state troopers writing tickets on Highway 153, saying they were on a rampage.   It is apparent that Mr. Mackey doesn’t travel this highway.  His only concern was that the ticket money was going into state funds and not into county funds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Must-Read For Parents

If you have a child or if you love one, what you are about to read could be one of the most important lessons in your life. I have a great friend in Dallas – Sandy Pohfal – who regularly shares stories with me that are moving, inspirational or important. This is all three. This story was written by a celebrated author, Christie Craig. She has written hundreds of articles for ... (click for more)