UNCG softball drops two games to Chattanooga in SoCon opener
CHATTANOOGA, TN – The UNC Greensboro softball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Chattanooga in the Southern Conference opener for both teams on Friday. The Spartans dropped the first game, 4-1 and the Lady Mocs took the late game, 4-2 with a three-run home run from Katie Blevins in the bottom of the seventh inning.
UNCG (9-17, 0-2 SoCon) was led by freshman Kristen Gabel who was 2-for-5 from the plate with a .400 batting average and one double on the day. Kaitlin Merkt was also impressive from the plate and tallied two hits on the afternoon, including a double.
Hannah Angel and Amber Harrell each pitched one complete game of the doubleheader. Angel (3-9) allowed four runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings of work while striking out eight and Amber Harrell (6-8) allowed four runs on six hits in the late game.
The Lady Mocs took an early 1-0 lead in the early game in the second inning with a leadoff home run from Blevins and tacked on two more runs in the second inning, including another home run, to take a 3-0 lead.
The Spartans avoided shutout with a run from Gabel in the sixth inning. The Port Neches, TX native started the inning with a bunt to get on base and teammate Mary Greenway followed with a single to third base which advanced Gabel to second base. The Spartans loaded the bases when Lyndsay Mouse reached on a fielder’s choice and an error from the Chattanooga shortstop sent Gabel around the bases for the score.
The late game was a pitchers duel heading into the fifth inning with neither team being able to push a run across the plate. UNC was held to no hits through the fifth inning while the Lady Mocs tallied two hits but it was the Spartans that tallied the first run of the game.
The Lady Mocs walked designated player Whitney Sirois to open the inning and sacrifice bunt from catcher Leslie Furness moved Sirois to second base. Shortstop Kaitlin Merkt tallied UNCG’s first hit of the day and made it count with an RBI double which sent Laura Olenderski, pinch running for Sirois, around the plate and gave UNCG a 1-0 lead.
Chattanooga answered back in the bottom of the inning and tied the game with a RBI single from Michelle Fuzzard and with the game tied heading into the seventh inning UNCG scored the go-ahead run early in the inning. Brittany Ausley hit a leadoff single and moved to second with a sacrifice bunt from Sirois and was sent home on an RBI double from Furness to take the 2-1 lead.
The Lady Mocs played spoiler and tallied three runs in the bottom of the inning to take the doubleheader. Chattanooga was able to put two runners on base and Blevins slammed her second home run of the day to send all three around the bases to end the game.
The teams will return to the diamond for the final game of the series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 12 noon at Jim Frost Stadium.
UNC Greensboro...... 000 001 0 - 1 3 1 (9-16, 0-1)
Chattanooga......... 010 021 X - 4 7 1 (17-14, 1-0)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Hannah Angel. Chattanooga -
Win-Loudermilk(7-6) Loss-Hannah Angel(3-9) T-1:40 A-120
HR UTC - Tembey (4); Blevins (10).
UNC Greensboro...... 000 010 1 - 2 4 3
Chattanooga......... 000 010 3 - 4 6 0
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Amber Harrell. Chattanooga - Irwin;
Win-Loudermilk(8-6) Loss-Amber Harrell(6-8) T-1:35 A-125
HR UTC - Blevins (11).
- UNCG -