Mocs Softball Wins; Earns Third Seed In SoCon Tournament
Monday, May 10, 2021
In a do-or-die game for the Chattanooga Mocs softball team, seniors Hayleigh Weissenbach and Cameren Swafford each homered and combined to drive in three runs during a thrilling 6-3 win over Southern Conference rival Samford on Sunday afternoon inside Jim Frost Stadium.
Following the win, Chattanooga (13-23, 8-8 SoCon) clinches a spot in this week's SoCon Championship as the No. 3 seed and will face No. 2 Western Carolina on Thursday, May 13, at 3 p.m. ET in Greensboro, N.C. Samford falls to 18-27 overall, 7-11 in the league and has been eliminated from postseason contention.
Due to COVID schedule adjustments, the 2021 edition of the SoCon Tournament was reduced to the top four teams in the final regular season standings with the top seed earning hosting duties.
UNCG captured the regular season title behind a 14-4 record and will host. Mercer finished 8-9 and earned the No. 4 seed behind a tie-breaking edge over Furman.
Chattanooga 6, Samford 3
In what was a do-or-die game for both squads, Samford raced out to an early 3-0 lead after plating a run in the first and two in the second off of starting pitcher Hannah Wood. Merritt Cahoon ripped an RBI single in the opening frame before Ryan Brzozoski added to the visitor's lead with a two-run single in the following inning.
Brooke Parrott entered the circle in relief of Wood after 1.1 innings of work and limited the damage to just three runs. Chattanooga responded in the home half of the second when Liz Rodebaugh and Reagan Armour laced back-to-back RBI doubles down the line in left to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Hayleigh Weissenbach continued the UTC comeback effort in the bottom of third with a game-tying solo homerun to right center on a 1-0 count. The homer was the third of the season for Weissenbach and sixth of her career.
After allowing a hit-by-pitch, single, and walk in the top of the fourth, Parrott buckled down and induced a lineout and soft fly out to escape the bases-loaded jam and keep the game knotted 3-3.
The Mocs landed runners at first and third with no outs in the bottom of the fourth but failed to cash in after a diving double play and strikeout ended the threat. On the other side, Parrott surrendered a leadoff double in the fifth before a pair of strikeouts and pop out ultimately left a pair stranded.
It was the bottom of the fifth when Chattanooga separated things for good. Courtney Ball and Weissenbach roped consecutive doubles to land runners at second and third with one out. Adison Keylon delivered with the eventual game-winning RBI with a SAC fly to center field, giving the Mocs a 4-3 lead.
Swafford decided that a one-run lead wasn't enough following Keylon's RBI. Swafford lifted a 1-1 pitch deep over the right-center wall for her team-leading fifth homer of the season and extended the Chattanooga lead to three, 6-3.
The three-run lead would be plenty for Parrott (6-7) who stranded two in the sixth and retired the Bulldog hitters in order on just five pitches in the final frame to earn the victory. She allowed just four hits over 5.2 scoreless innings while striking out two.
Chattanooga out-hit the Bulldogs by a slim 9-8 count and were led by three multi-hit performances from Weissenbach (2-for-3, 2 R, HR, RBI), Rodebaugh (2-for-3, R, RBI) and Armour (2-for-3, RBI). Swafford finished 1-for-2 with a homer and two RBI while Keylon ended 0-for-1 with a walk, run scored and GW RBI.
No. 3 seeded Chattanooga will face No. 2 seeded Western Carolina in the first round of this week's double elimination Southern Conference Tournament held in Greensboro, N.C. (#1 UNCG) on Thursday, May 13, at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+. Game links will be available on the schedule page leading up to first pitch.