2 p.m.—Toledo vs. UTC
4:30 p.m.—East Tenn. State vs. UTC
Noon—IUPUI vs. UTC
2:30 p.m.—Northern Iowa vs. UTC
11 a.m.—UT-Martin vs. UTC
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team is riding a wave of momentum into its first home games today in the Frost Classic.
The Lady Mocs, fresh off a 5-0 run at the South Alabama Mardis Gras Tournament in Mobile, Ala., open play today against Toledo at 2 p.m. and will play East Tennessee State at 4:30.
Other teams in the tournament are Tennessee Tech and Northwestern State (La.), both with local connections, along with UT-Martin, Northern Iowa and IUPUI.
After opening the season with a 2-3 run at a tournament in Florida, UTC claimed wins over Ohio State, Evansville, South Alabama, UT-Martin and Southeastern Louisiana to improve to 7-3 on the season.
For UTC coach Frank Reed, the 11-7 defeat of Ohio State set the tone and proved that this team could compete with anyone.
"I really think they did well, and it didn't hurt to put 11 runs on the board against Ohio State," Reed said. "I think that was instrumental in building our confidence for the rest of the weekend against good pitching. Now I think they know that the sky's the limit for them if they go in with that attitude every weekend."
UTC junior pitcher Michelle Fuzzard had an outstanding performance in South Alabama, picking up three wins while allowing six runs in 12 2/3 innings. She also hit two massive home runs to spark the Lady Mocs to 39 runs in the five games.
"You get addicted to scoring that many runs," Fuzzard said. "I think before we just scored a few runs and we'd sit on them because it was enough, and then that ended up burning us in the end. If we can continue to stay addicted to scoring that many runs, it will definitely benefit us in the end."
UTC's offensive depth has given the team more run-scoring potential and more options off the bench than in recent seasons.
"Our team is pretty stacked," said sophomore first baseman Kasey Tydingco, the Southern Conference player of the week after batting .375 with two home runs, including a grand slam against the Buckeyes. "There's going to be good people who have to sit, but that means there will be good people coming off the bench."
Today the Lady Mocs will look to build on the success from last weekend and put on a good show in the season's first games in front of the home fans.
"I'm so excited to have fans there, because I think when you have fans it gets you even more pumped up and ready for the game." freshman catcher Natalie Powers from Oklahoma said Wednesday at practice. "My family is going to come and it's just going to be fun and exciting and hopefully a successful tournament."
Jim Tanner has worked as assistant sports editor at the Times Free Press since late 2006. He started at the Times Free Press in 2001 and worked as a news copy/design editor from 2001 through 2006. In addition to working as a night and weekend editor producing local and national sports coverage for print and online readers, Jim occasionally writes local sports and outdoors stories. Jim grew up in Ringgold, Ga., and is a graduate ...