The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team dropped both games of a Southern Conference doubleheader at Elon on Saturday, losing 6-4 and 2-1 to start the final regular-season series of the season.
The Lady Mocs played without coach Frank Reed, serving an NCAA-mandated two-game suspension for the team's forfeit of a game last Tuesday at Alabama-Birmingham.
Sources indicated that some players were suspended as well, and UTC's two four-year seniors, first baseman Kasey Tydingco and second baseman Sara Poteat, did not play in either game Sunday. UTC sports information assistant Tyler Brown said via text message that the two players had decided to leave the team.
UTC (26-25, 10-10) fell behind 2-0 in the first game but rallied to tie it in the second inning on a Sam Taylor double scoring Alyssa Taylor and Ninjja Suetsugu.
Elon reclaimed the lead on a solo home run by Carleigh Nester in the third inning, but UTC freshman catcher Anyssa Robles responded in the top of the fifth with a tying homer.
In the bottom of the fifth, however, the Phoenix struck for three runs on three hits to take the lead for good.
UTC sophomore Taylor Deason gave up eight hits and a walk while striking out three. Sam Taylor, from Gordon Lee, went 3-for-4 in the opener to extend her hitting streak to 15 games.
The second game was a pitching duel between freshmen Kaisey Carson of UTC and Kayla Caruso of Elon. Both pitchers went the entire game and combined to allow nine hits and a single earned run.
Elon scored an unearned run in the second and UTC answered with an RBI hit by junior Stephanie Reick in the fourth inning. The game appeared to be heading for extra innings when Elon outfielder Amanda Allen hit a walk-off home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
The teams are scheduled to play again today in the regular-season finale at 1 p.m., and the Southern Conference tournament begins Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C.
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