By Taylor Branch, Chattanooga, Tenn–The Mocs softball team lost their first conference game of the year after a close finale against Furman.
UTC finishes 2-1 on the series against the Paladins. Over the weekend, head coach Frank Reed hits a milestone, reaching the 1000 win mark.
Chattanooga came into Game 1 holding a 9-game win streak and a perfect SoCon record.
“If you start feeling invisible it catches up to you, we have to stay strong,” Reed said. “Furman is a solid team and always plays well against us. Everybody is looking to knock us off and there are still a lot of teams left to play.”
Game 1 was won by the Mocs 7-5 after a late rally of four runs were delivered by the Mocs.
The win gave Reed his 1000th career win, becoming only the 28th coach in the nation to reach that milestone.
“The years have gotten away from me,” Reed said. “It’s not all about what I’ve done, it’s about the players and coaches that have all been contributors. I’m humbled that I can contribute to the game this long and to have had the success I’ve had here at the University of Chattanooga.”
Reed is now the 10th active winning coaches and holds a record here at UTC of 525-307.
Game 2 was another close match but the Mocs outlasted the Paladins taking the 7-5 victory.
The Mocs exploded offensively in the fourth inning hitting four runs and pulling away from a 2-2 tie.
The finale was a heartbreaker as UTC drops their first conference match 5-6.
With a tie game the bottom of the seventh inning became the deciding frame. Furman loaded the bases and then hit a 3-1 offering the left field. The ball was caught by senior Nicole Osterman, Kissimmee, Fla., but gave the Paladins enough time to tag up and score the winning run.
The Mocs drop to 27-9 overall and 8-1 in SoCon standings.
UTC returns home this Thursday to host the UAB Blazers at 4 p.m. They will then welcome SoCon opponent Western Carolina over weekend in a conference series.