The Chattanooga Mocs softball team earned a hard-fought 3-2 win in 11 innings to clinch a three-game series sweep over rival ETSU on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Johnson City, Tenn. The game marked the longest (by inning) in Betty Basler Field history.
Following the victory, Chattanooga is now winners of four of its last five and improve to 4-1 in SoCon play and 8-16 overall. ETSU falls to 13-11 overall and 1-5 in league action.
UTC 3, ETSU 2 (11)
Chattanooga had multiple opportunities to cash in on offense over the first three innings to aid starting pitcher Brooke Parrott.
UTC posted five hits including a Hayleigh Weissenbach double during that span, but ultimately stranded seven runners with two in the first, three in the second and two in the third.
Parrott responded for the Mocs in the circle by allowing just three hits and stranding four ETSU runners over her three innings of work. The effort included a 1-4-3 putout to end the third where the Bucs had runners at first and second.
Hannah Wood took over for Parrott in the circle in the top of the fourth and retired the batters in order in each of the fourth and fifth innings while allowing just a single in the sixth. Of the nine outs, seven were recorded via a ground ball to the infield.
Chattanooga continued its trend of stranding runners on offense in the fifth inning after leaving runners at first and second. In addition, UTC would leave a runner in each of the sixth and seventh innings, totaling 11 in the original seven innings.
After allowing a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh, Wood induced a groundout to first which allowed the runner to advance to second with one out. ETSU's Lauren Lee belted a sharp line drive at shortstop Kailey Snell who then doubled up the runner at second to send the scoreless game into extras.
UTC was retired in order in the top of the eighth before an ETSU rally saw the bases loaded with just one out following an intentional walk. Wood escaped the jam with a groundout back to the circle and an inning-ending flyout to right.
The Mocs were once again retired in order in extras during the ninth. ETSU led the home half off with a double off the wall in right by Kylie Toler before an Andrea Sarhatt single and Lauren Lee intentional walk loaded the bases with no outs. Wood was able to escape the threat once again and prevent the winning run from scoring behind three-straight groundouts.
The International Tiebreaker rule came in effect at the top of the 10th inning and provided an immediate scoring spark for both teams. Kacie Lynch advanced the runner on a groundout before Weissenbach launched her second homer of the season, a two-run shot to right center, to put Chattanooga ahead 2-0.
In the bottom half, ETSU advanced its runner to third on a groundout to lead off the inning before Lilly Holston tied the game up with a one-out, two-run homer to left field. The Bucs failed to push another run across and the game became the longest in Betty Basler Field history.
Kailey Snell led off the top half of the 11th with an RBI double to the gap in left center, scoring the placed runner from second and giving UTC a 3-2 lead. UTC would carry the one-run lead into the bottom of the inning.
Parrott re-entered the game in the circle and needed just 11 pitches to record a groundout, foul out, and strike out swinging to notch her first career save. Parrott allowed only two hits over 4.0 innings of work and struck out a pair.
Wood (5-4) earned the victory in relief and fired 7.0 innings while surrendering six hits and just two runs (one earned). She has allowed only one earned run over her last 20.0 innings of action including an 18.0 inning scoreless streak.
Weissenbach recorded her first career four-hit game in her 196th game played in a UTC uniform after finishing a perfect 4-for-4 with a double, homerun, two RBI and a run scored. Snell posted her second three-hit performance of her rookie season, going 3-for-5 with a double and RBI. Courtney Ball added the other multi-hit tally behind a 2-for-4 day at the plate.
Chattanooga (8-16, 4-1 SoCon) continues its road play in the Southern Conference next weekend with a three-game series against Mercer in Macon, Ga. Game coverage links will be available on the schedule page.