By Joseph Dycus, Staff Writer—
Mocs Softball continued their up and down play in the USF Under Armour Invitational. After beginning their stay in Clearwater, Fla. with two wins, UTC stumbled against the University of Central Florida. After a scoreless first two innings, UCF took a 1-0 lead off of a pair of doubles. The inning could have been even worse, had pitcher Celie Hudson not composed herself and stranded the remaining two runners.
The bottom of the fourth inning saw the Mocs score their only run of the game. Following a trio of singles by Aly Walker, Emma Sturdivant, and Halie Williamson, senior infielder Morgan Kazerooni trotted up to home plate with a chance to tie the game with one swing of the bat. But with the bases loaded, Kazerooni wasn’t even required to put the ball in play. She promptly tied the game after UCF’s Alea White momentarily lost control and walked her.
The game appeared headed for a tie until the Mocs had a disaster of a seventh inning. Hudson allowed two baserunners to safety, before Kyra Klarkowski delivered a kill shot in the form of a triple that drove in all three baserunners after a UTC error. That error was the only one of the game for Chattanooga, but it came at the worst possible time. The Mocs were not able to rally, as their offense was downright anemic for the majority of the game. The Mocs struck out 11 times and failed to drive in four possible runs over the course of the game.
The offense wasn’t much better in the second game against Holy Cross College, but two hits and one run was all that was needed for freshman ace Mariah Ramirez to bag the Mocs’ seventeenth win of the season. After allowing a triple to lead off the game, Ramirez locked Holy Cross down for the rest of the game, allowing only two different baserunners to even reach scoring position. Mariah Ramirez, now 7-0 on the season, got all of the run support she required with a solo home run by Emma Sturdivant in the top of the sixth inning. That blast to centerfield provided the Mocs with a seemingly insurmountable lead against the hapless bats of Holy Cross.
Ramirez effortlessly shut the door on the game, finishing the contest with a career-high eight strikeouts and only allowing a solitary walk. In what had been yet another dismal showing for the Mocs offense, Emma Sturdivant was the lone bright spot, as her home run was accompanied by a pair of walks.