UTC Softball Travels To Dot RIchardson NCSI Tournament
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
With a weekend full of rain in the forecast for Monroe, La., the Chattanooga Mocs softball team will change travel plans and head to Clermont, Fla., to participate in the Dot Richardson NCSI Tournament on Friday and Saturday to begin their 25th season.
UTC will now kick-off the season against Morgan State at 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon before concluding the opening day doubleheader against Detroit Mercy at 6:30 p.m.
Instead of playing five games in three days like originally scheduled at the ULM Invitational, UTC will now play four games in two days.
Saturday's doubleheader puts the Mocs up against Liberty at 11 a.m. and Fairleigh Dickinson at 4 p.m.
Chattanooga will open its home schedule next weekend with the Chattanooga Challenge running from Feb. 16-18. Season tickets are on sale now and are $50 for all ages and includes the Chattanooga Challenge, Frost Classic and May's doubleheader against preseason No. 13/14 Auburn. Tickets can be purchased on GoMocs.com or by calling the ticket off at (423) 266-MOCS. Learn More
Full opponent previews, game day links and more for the Dot Richardson NCSI can be found below. Read up on Chattanooga softball game notes at the link above or by clicking HERE.
DOT RICHARDSON NATIONAL COLLEGIATE SOFTBALL INVITATIONAL
Morgan State Bears (0-0) | Fri., Feb. 9, 1:30 p.m. ET | LIVE STATS
Chattanooga opens up a new season against Morgan State in Clermont, Fla., for the second-straight year. The Bears took last year's opener 5-1 but the Mocs responded with an 8-0 win over MSU in the rubber match the following day. Morgan State concluded 2017 with a 23-23 overall record and a 12-6 mark in the MEAC. UTC is 3-2 against MSU all-time.
The Bears return two of their top three hitters from last year's squad, outfielders Giselle Alvarez and Damali Young, and also welcome back two pitchers in Amy Begg and Erica Hawkins. Alvarez led the team with a .338 batting average and 25 runs batted in while Young finished with a .314 average and a team-high 42 runs scored. Begg went 20-14 in the circle with a MEAC best 179 strikeouts and a conference second-best 2.37 ERA.
Detroit Mercy Titans (0-0) | Fri., Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m. ET | LIVE STATS
Chattanooga and Detroit Mercy meet for just the second time in program history with the last meeting resulting in a 1-0 Titans win back in 1995. Detroit is coming off an 18-34 season where they finished 12-10 in the Horizon League. The Titans rattled off three-straight wins after an opening game loss in the Horizon League Tournament before falling to No. 2 Youngstown State. It was the best tournament finish in nearly 20 seasons and was the most tournament wins since 1998 for the program.
Junior shortstop Courtney Gilbert returns for the Titans after leading the team in nearly every offensive category last season. She hit for a .367 average, collected 57 hits, 13 doubles and 34 runs batted in while finishing with a .548 slugging percentage. Sophomore Liz Murphy anchored the pitching staff in her rookie year, appearing in 42 games on her way to a 3.41 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 201.1 innings pitched.
Liberty Flames (0-0) | Sat., Feb. 10, 11:00 a.m. ET | LIVE STATS
Under the direction of softball legend Dot Richardson, the 'tournament host' Liberty Flames are coming off a huge year where they finished with a 46-24 overall mark and won the conference with a 16-5 record in the Big South. The Flames ended up falling in the Big South Championship before capturing the 2017 National Invitational Softball Championship with a 4-3 win over Ohio in postseason play.
Liberty boasts sophomore twins in Amber and Autumn Bishop who both led the team last year in plenty of offensive categories. Amber batted .373 while leading the conference in hits, runs scored, RBI and total bases, setting nine program freshman records in the process. She was named a top 25 finalist for the NFCA National Freshman of the Year. Autumn was an NFCA All-Region first team selection as a utility player after batting .381 with 15 doubles.
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (0-0) | Sat., Feb. 10, 4:00 p.m. ET | LIVE STATS
The Mocs and Knights met for the first time in program history last season in Clermont. Chattanooga claimed a 6-4 victory over FDU to close out the NCSI. FDU finished 5-37 and 1-15 in the Northeast Conference in 2017.
Junior utility player Reanna Cervantes looks to lead the Knights offense this season after finished second on the team with a .313 batting average. She led the team in hits (42), runs (20) and slugging percentage (.478). Sophomore Erica Johnson returns to the circle after finishing her freshman year with a team-high 25 appearances and leading the team in ERA (5.52), innings pitched (77.1) and strikeouts (40).