Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) After suffering through a losing record the last two years, the Mocs softball team found their pitching groove this season. As a result, they won the SoCon Tournament title and punched their ticket to the NCAA Regional.
Two years ago, the Mocs finished 15-38 as Celie Hudson was basically the only pitcher on the team.
Said head coach Frank Reed:”I don’t even want to think about going back there.”
Said Hudson:”We went to ETSU that season, and we had 17 hits, and they still beat us. It was like 19-10. They run-ruled us actually.”
Hudson persevered though, and this season, she was voted the SoCon pitcher of the year.
Said Reed:”I call her ‘Army Tough’. She was supposed to have gone to Army to play softball. Decided at the last minute to come here and play for us. And I said just be ‘Army Tough’. Go out there and do it, and she’s got that Bulldog mentality, so she did it.”
The Mocs had a team ERA of 2.16, which was a full run lower than anyone else in the SoCon.
Said pitcher Allison Swinford:”I mean it showed in the Southern Conference that we had the best depth on the field. I think that was one of our greatest advantages over UNCG.”
Said Hudson:”We also got a new pitching coach, Megan Betsa. She was a game changer.”
And the change-up pitch has been a real game changer for UTC as well.
Said catcher Amanda Beltran:”It is pretty tricky sometimes. Sometimes umpires will be like, whoa. And I’m like yeah.” (chuckles)
Said first baseman Emma Sturdivant:”All of our pitchers actually. Mariah, Ally, Celie. They all have a great change-up. I’ve definitely seen them make some people look a little silly up there.”
Said Swinford:”I don’t want to say I love watching people look silly, but I love watching people look silly.” (laughs)
Coach Reed feels great about the pitching he’s taking into the NCAA Regional.
Said Reed:”We are not afraid to go anywhere we need to go with those three that we are going to be taking to the tournament.”
UTC will face Ole Miss on Friday at 7pm in Oxford, Mississippi in the NCAA Regional