The Chattanooga softball team bounced back from last weekend's series loss to Furman with a 5-4, extra-inning victory over non-conference foe Murray State on Wednesday afternoon at Frost Stadium.
In addition to driving in all five of her team’s runs, UTC’s Stephanie Rieck delivered the walk-off hit in the eighth inning to lift the Lady Mocs to victory, singling up the middle to score junior Tyler Templet from second.
“We challenged her,” UTC coach Frank Reed said. “She knocked the cover off the ball last year when we gave her a chance, but she just wasn’t getting it done this season. I challenged her after the loss to Furman Sunday and she really responded today. She looked today like she did last season. Let’s hope she keeps that up.”
Rieck, who is batting .293 this season with a team-leading 16 runs batted in, finished 3-for-4 at the plate Wednesday. Sophomore Taylor Deason allowed three earned runs off eight hits in six innings of work, but it was freshman Rachel Albritton (4-2) who picked up the win after tossing two scoreless innings of relief for the Lady Mocs (16-14).
The Racers (7-14) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, and with Chattanooga’s early struggles at the plate, Murray State’s one-run advantage held up until the fourth inning, when Rieck’s double to right center scored Kasey Tydingco to tie things up at 1-1.
Deason hit a rough patch in the top of the sixth, allowing one run off three hits, but the sophomore right-hander worked her way out of the jam to keep the Lady Mocs within striking distance.
Reick’s second extra-base hit, a three-run home run—the first of her career—spotted UTC its first lead of the game, 4-2, but the Racers battled back in the seventh, knotting things up at 4-4. Deason exited the game with the bases loaded, but Albritton worked her way out of the jam to keep things level.
Templet finished with a pair of hits to go along with her two runs scored, while seniors Sara Poteat and Ninjja Suetsugu, along with freshmen Sam Taylor and Anyssa Robles, each had a hit.
Chattanooga returns to action Saturday with a double-header against Appalachian State (1 p.m.) at Frost Stadium—the team’s second SoCon series this season. The Lady Mocs wrap up the three-game series with the Mountaineers on Sunday (4 p.m.).