UTC Softball Wins Two at Phyllis Raffer Memorial Tournament
Saturday, February 9, 2019
The Chattanooga Mocs (3-0, 0-0) softball team used stellar pitching and timely hitting during two hard-fought wins on Saturday at the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament in Kennesaw, Ga.
Chattanooga defeated Morehead State, 6-2, in game one before downing Eastern Illinois, 2-1, in game two. MSU fell to 0-2 while EIU dropped to 1-2 on the young season.
GAME 1 BOX » Chattanooga 6, Morehead St. 2
Chattanooga, playing as the home team, struck for a run in the bottom of the first on a two-out RBI single from Taylor Chadwick to take an early 1-0 lead.
Morehead State briefly took the lead 2-1 in the top of the third on the help of two UTC defensive miscues.
Both runs scored in the inning were unearned for starting pitcher Allison Swinford. Mariah Ramirez relieved Swinford with one out and ended the MSU rally by inducing a soft ground ball and a strikeout.
Devan Brown responded for the Mocs in the home half of the inning with a two-out, solo homerun over the left field fence to tie things up 2-2. Amanda Beltranfollowed that up with a single, but UTC couldn't extend the late rally any further.
A scoreless fourth inning gave way to an offensive outburst for the Mocs in the bottom of the fifth. UTC scored four runs on five hits to pull away from the Eagles, 6-2. The attack began with Aly Walker and Emma Sturdivant roping back-to-back doubles to the fence and breaking the tie. Beltran capped the inning off with a three-run homerun deep over the center field wall.
Ramirez (2-0) was steady the rest of the way as she earned her second-straight victory in the circle. She held MSU scoreless in 4.1 innings of work, allowing just three hits while striking out four.
Beltran went 2-for-3 with a homerun and three RBI. Brown added in a 2-for-3, RBI performance while Walker scored twice and notched a double in three at-bats. Sturdivant added a double and Chadwick added a single in the win.
GAME 2 BOX » Chattanooga 2, Eastern Illinois 1
A classic pitchers dual took place between UTC's Celie Hudson and EIU's Jade Montgomery in the nightcap. Both starters battled to a scoreless draw until a Halie Williamson sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth gave Chattanooga a 1-0 lead.
Hudson allowed a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth before a groundout to the next batter advanced the runner to second with one out. EIU followed with an RBI single to right field to tie the game at 1-1.
The Mocs offense came up timely in the final frame. Gracey Kruse reached on an error to lead the inning off before Brown laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance her to second with one out.
With two outs and Kruse still at second, Williamson delivered with the go-ahead, and eventual game winning, RBI single to right center that scored Kruse and put UTC ahead 2-1. Williamson and Kruse teamed up for both RBI and runs scored.
Hudson (1-0) was dominate from her first pitch to her last in her first start of the 2019 campaign. She tossed a complete game and allowed just one earned run and three hits while striking out a career-high 10. Six of the 10 went down in the book as looking.
Chattanooga finished with three scattered hits and left three on base during the win. Emily Coltharp (1-for-3), Williamson (1-for-2) and Kruse (1-for-3) all singled. Williamson had both RBI and Kruse scored both runs for UTC.
Chattanooga finishes up play at the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament tomorrow with games against Morehead State (10 a.m.) and tournament-host Kennesaw State (3 p.m.). Live STATS are available for both games while VIDEO is available via Facebook LIVE for the 3 p.m. game against the Owls. Links are located on the schedule page.
The home slate begins February 15 for the Chattanooga Challenge. Season tickets & single game tickets are now on-sale at GoMocs.com or by calling the box office at (423) 266-MOCS. Season tickets (over $30 in savings) cover all 20 games including both the Chattanooga Challenge and Frost Classic tournaments.