GREENSBORO, N.C. – No. 1 seed UNCG softball (44-11) broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and defeated the No. 4 Chattanooga Mocs (26-29) in the second round of the winner’s bracket in the Southern Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon at UNCG Softball Stadium. The Spartans will face No. 6 ETSU on Friday at noon, and the winning team of that game will advance to the championship game with no losses in the double-elimination tournament.
Janelle Breneman, the SoCon Head Coach of the Year, won her 200th-game as UNCG’s coach. In her six seasons Breneman has guided the Spartans to a winning record each year and 30+ wins four times, including the second-most victories in a single-season in program history with this year’s team.
Held hitless with just one runner reaching base on a walk entering the fifth inning, Kayleigh Willis smacked a single up the middle with one out. After Becca Kale was hit by a pitch, Rachael McClaskey beat out a throw from the shortstop for an infield single that loaded up the bases. Pinch-hitter Melanie Darges drew a RBI-walk on a 4-1 count, and Jasmine Palmer got another RBI-walk in the next at-bat. On a fielder’s choice by Makenna Matthijs, a fielding error by the third baseman allowed McClaskey to score standing up.
After the Mocs scored its only run on a solo homer to left field with one out in the next inning, the Spartans tacked on an insurance run. After drawing a two-out walk, Kale scored on a double to left center by pinch-hitter Kendall McKinney.
Alicia Bazonski (17-5) threw her 14th complete game of the year, allowing just one run, six hits and one BB with three strikeouts. Bazonski retired the side in the second, third and seventh innings, and only two Mocs reached third base.