Kennesaw State softball traveled to Tennessee this weekend to compete in the Chattanooga Challenge presented by Ruby Falls — the Owls were practically flawless as they completed the weekend 4-0.
The team began its weekend by defeating Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis 10-1, giving up its only run in the seventh inning.
Redshirt freshman Alley Cutting had a standout game, allowing four hits and striking out a career-high 11 batters through 6 1/3 innings. KSU collected 16 total hits through seven innings including home runs from redshirt sophomore Jessie Mullen, redshirt freshman Katey Lynch and sophomore Katie Byrd.
Two hours later, KSU continued its play, sweeping Tennessee Tech University 3-0. Senior Logan Viers didn’t allow a hit through five innings, giving up only two hits in the last two innings.
Seniors Noelle Winkles and Taylor Denton led the offense with two hits apiece against the Golden Eagles to wrap up the first day of the tournament.
“It was a good team effort today,” said head coach Pete D’Amour. “I was really pleased with how we came ready to play the second game. We were able to refocus and compete against a really good pitcher. Hopefully, we can bring that same intent into tomorrow’s games.”
KSU brought the same effort to its Sunday game against Radford University despite a rain delay and getting its 4 p.m. game against Chattanooga completely canceled.
The Owls played their 6:30 p.m. game against the University of Connecticut, beating the Huskies 5-1.
Once again KSU was led by amazing pitching from Cutting, who only allowed one run and struck out 12 batters in seven innings.
Senior Chandler Griffin hit her second home run of the season, improving KSU’s lead to 4-1 at the beginning of the fifth inning. Freshman Olivia Tamewitz also wanted in on some of the action, swinging a three-hit performance against the Huskies.
KSU’s last game of the tournament was its rescheduled game against Radford University Sunday morning. This was the Owls’ toughest match but senior Courtney Sutter — who hit two home runs — led her team to victory.
Radford’s only run came from a home run in the top of the fourth. Sutter answered with her own home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game. Senior pitcher Logan Viers kept Radford from scoring until the Owls were at-bat to close out the sixth inning.
Tamewitz got on base with a bunt single and eventually stole second when Sutton got to bat. Sutter hit her second home run of the day, taking KSU up 3-1 with a two-shot home run. Viers held off Radford in the seventh inning and closed out KSU’s perfect tournament.
Sutter led the Owls offensively throughout the tournament, batting .667 (8-for-12) with four runs scored. She also hit two home runs, recorded four RBIs and stole two bases.
Alley Cutting played extremely well in her two starts, posting a 2-0 record and 1.05 ERA, allowing 10 hits, two runs, walking one and striking out 23 batters.
“Our players did a good job preparing themselves to play this weekend under adverse conditions,” D’Amour said. “We have to continue to get better and improve, but there isn’t a coach in the country that wouldn’t take an undefeated weekend.”
KSU finished off the Chattanooga Challenge 4-0, only giving up 3 runs throughout the entire tournament. The Owls will travel to Birmingham, Alabama, to play Samford University on Tuesday, Feb. 21.