NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Belmont Softball jumped out to an early lead but was unable to sustain it over the stretch and fell to visiting Chattanooga on Tuesday at E.S. Rose Park. The Bruins (26-18) were held off, 8-1, after a late rally by the Mocs (26-12).
BU leapt onto the scoreboard first, posting a run in the bottom of the opening inning. Senior Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.) battled through 14 pitches to smash a homerun, her fourth of the season, to record what would become Belmont's lone run of the contest. UTC fired back in the top of the second frame, using a sac fly to knot the score, 1-1.
The contest remained stalemated over the next inning until the Mocs exploded in the top of fourth inning. Chattanooga plated four runs, behind a walk and a pair of singles that opened the door for a base clearing double. A deep single to left sent another UTC pair of players home and gave the visitors the 5-1 advantage. Belmont attempted to make moves in the fifth and sixth frames but could not send a runner over the plate. Fortunately, the BU defense was being just as stingy and kept the Mocs off the board as well.
Chattanooga surged again, this time in the top of the seventh inning, posting three runs to go up 8-1. In Belmont's half of the same frame, sophomore Cheyenne Cavanaugh (Spring, Texas) started a one-out rally, with a hard hit infield single. A UTC fielding error allowed senior Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) to reach first base before a single by freshman Autumn McDanel (Morovia, Iowa) loaded the bases. Unfortunately, BU was unable to send any of the runners home and went on to fall, 8-1.
For the day, Cavanaugh went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Bruins.
Belmont returns to action on Friday at E.S. Rose Park, resuming Ohio Valley Conference play. The Bruins host Eastern Kentucky for a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m. Live stats will be available and the contest can be seen live on ESPN+.