In her final home weekend with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team, fifth-year senior Michelle Fuzzard continued to make her mark on the field and on the record book.
Fuzzard got a pitching win and a save and hit two home runs as the Lady Mocs beat Furman 2-0 and 12-7 in Southern Conference action Saturday, and she broke the UTC career record for total bases with 436. She passed Melissa Ramirez, who had 423 from 2001 to '05.
UTC (33-14, 16-2) had some struggles pitching against the Paladins but used its offensive power to rally from behind twice in the second game.
Freshman Cheyenne Willis was 3-for-4 in game two with her three RBIs coming on a go-ahead home run in the fifth inning. Five other Lady Mocs had two hits in the win, including Fuzzard with her homers and four RBIs. Junior first baseman Kasey Tydingco also homered for UTC in the late game.
"I've been working really hard on waiting on the ball and being patient," Willis said. "I finally waited on the ball today and was able to hit one out."
Fuzzard started the game but was relieved by freshman Taylor Deason before returning to finish it and pick up the win. Fuzzard pitched a total of 42/3 innings in that game, allowing three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts.
In Saturday's opening game, Tydingco and third baseman Sarah Beth Roberts each knocked in a run for UTC. Junior second baseman Sara Poteat had two hits in her first game back after missing eight following a collision in early April against Elon. Poteat also stole her 16th base of the season.
Deason pitched five scoreless innings to pick up the win, holding Furman (17-30, 6-14) to four hits. Fuzzard allowed no runs on two hits in the final two innings to earn her first save of the season.
The teams conclude the series at 2 p.m. today. It is senior day for UTC, which will honor Fuzzard, shortstop Jessica Traxler and catcher Vivian Morimoto before the game.
"Just because it's senior day and it's my last home game, I can't press and we can't press [as a team]," Fuzzard said. "We don't do very well when we try too hard and get tight.
"So that will be the goal for tomorrow. Even though it's senior day and there's some excitement off the field, we're going to be focused on doing our job."
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 ...