CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Elon softball game scored a total of 15 runs on the day but was not able to defeat Chattanooga in a doubleheader today, April 6, at Frost Stadium. The Lady Mocs (22-13, 7-2 SoCon) won the first game by a score of 14-11 and the second game, 4-3, over the Phoenix (17-9, 6-5 SoCon).
The Phoenix got things started right at the beginning with one run in the top of the first. Tomeka Watson put Elon up 1-0 from third as Erin O’Shea reached on a throwing error by the Chattanooga shortstop. Watson reached base earlier on a one-out triple to right field.
The Lady Mocs evened the game in the bottom of the inning with a score from Cheynne Willis. The center fielder reached on a passed ball after striking out swinging and then advanced all the way around the bases on walks.
In the top of the second, Morgan Wright drew a one-out walk and moved to second after a groundout by Camille Hill. Both Watson and Carleigh Nester drew walks to load the bases for E. O’Shea. The pitcher brought all three runners home for a 4-1 advantage after reaching on an error by UTC’s second baseman and advancing to second on the play. E O’Shea then moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a single to left field by Lauren Oldham to put the Phoenix up 5-1. Michelle Fuzzard then replaced starter Taylor Deason in the circle for the Lady Mocs and sent the game into the bottom of the inning.
Chattanooga responded with six runs off three hits to take a two-run lead, 7-5. After the third run of the inning scored and no outs, Catilin O’Shea replaced E. O’Shea in the circle and Camille Hill took over at catcher. The Lady Mocs scored three more runs before the Phoenix was able to record the three outs to end the inning.
UTC added another run in the bottom of the third to make it an 8-5 lead before a scoreless fourth inning. A dropped fly ball at first in the bottom of the fifth scored another run for Chattanooga before a single through the right side by Vivian Morimoto made it a 10-5 game. After two more runs, Kari Pervell came in to pitch for the maroon and gold and Kaitlyn Piazzolla went back to catcher and ended the inning with Elon down seven runs, 12-5.
In the top of the sixth, Nester got things started with a leadoff single to center. Piazzolla then singled to bring up Oldham. The right fielder reached on a fielder’s choice that left Piazzolla out at second but Nester safe at third. After Danielle Lafferty drew a walk, Johanna Spencer reached on a dropped fly ball by UTC’s catcher to score all three runners and make it a four-run game, 12-8.
E. O’Shea went back in the circle in the bottom of the sixth. With a one-out triple by Willis and a walk to Fuzzard, Morimoto doubled to right center to score both runs and put UTC up 14-8.
The Phoenix didn’t back down in the top of the seventh. Nester singled through the right side with one out and the advanced to second on a wild pitch. A double down the left field line by E. O’Shea scored Nester to make it a 14-10 game. With two outs, Oldham singled to short and moved E. O’Shea to third.
E. O’Shea (10-6) pitched a total of two innings in the loss, giving up seven earned runs off four hits. Fuzzard (8-6) got the win in 5.1 innings of work, allowing two runs off seven hits.
Nester went 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored. Oldham recorded two hits in her four at-bats and knocked in one RBI, as well as scoring two runs. Each team drew nine walks in the game and combined for a total of 20 hits.
The second game started off much slower with only one run being recorded in the first three and a half innings.
In the top of the first, Watson hit a one-out double down the left field line to reach base. Two batters later, E. O’Shea singled to left to score Watson and put the Phoenix up 1-0.
The Lady Mocs took the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth. Morimoto hit a leadoff single through the right side and advanced to second on single down the left field line by Jessica Traxler. Pervell then replaced E. O’Shea in the circle, while both runners then advanced a base on a passed ball. With one out, Stephanie Rieck singled down the right field line to score both runs and put UTC up by one run.
In the top of the fifth, Aly Quintana drew a walk to bring the winning run to the plate. Ali Ford then reached on a fielder’s choice that found Quintana safe at second after an error by UTC’s second baseman Sara Poteat. With one out, Hill reached base on an another error by Poteat that scored Quintana and moved Ford to third. Watson then singled to left field and advanced to third after Hill was called out at third. Ford was able to score on the play to put Elon up by one run, 3-2.
Karen Berna went to the circle for the maroon and gold in the bottom of the sixth. The Lady Mocs tied the game off a ground out by Kasey Tydingco that scored Layne Rainey from third. Rainey had reached base on a wild pitch after striking out swinging. With two on, Morimoto reached on a fielding error by Sarah Little that scored the winning run from third to end the game in favor of Chattanooga, 4-3.
The win went to Deason (14-7) who pitched the complete game, giving up one run off seven hits. Berna (2-1) took the loss after gong 1.2 innings with two unearned runs.
Both Watson and Lafferty went 2-for-3 in the game, while Watson scored one run and recorded one RBI.
Elon and Chattanooga will play the finale of the series tomorrow, April 7, at 1 p.m.