COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (April 24, 2012) – Tennessee Tech scored three runs in the first and tacked on two more in the third to come away with a 5-1 victory in game one, while the Golden Eagles capped off the sweep by plating three unearned runs in the third inning and added five two-out runs in the fourth to post an 11-3 (six inning) victory in game two on a cool and damp Tuesday evening from the Tech Softball Field in Cookeville.
Sophomore Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) produced the only scoring play for the Blue and Gold when her two-out double to left scored Annie Martin (Centerville, Tenn.) in the sixth inning of game one, while Tara Hartnett (Snellville, Ga.) and Alex Everett (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) registered RBIs in the nightcap.
After forcing a split with a 3-1 win over Stetson in game two on Saturday, the Bucs were looking to string together wins for the first time since sweeping Western Carolina back on March 28, but ETSU dropped to 11-32 after suffering the pair of setbacks. Meanwhile, Tennessee Tech extended its winning streak to five straight and improved to 22-24 on the season.
In game one, Tennessee Tech used the first and third innings to generate its runs as the Golden Eagles came away with the four-run win.
The Golden Eagles struck early when Whitney Cummings’ one-out, two-run home run to straightaway center and Chanelle Spalding’s two-out RBI double to left put Tennessee Tech ahead, 3-0, after one inning of play.
With Holly Thomas dealing in the circle, that would be all the offense Tennessee Tech needed as she held the Bucs to one run, but the Golden Eagles added a pair of unearned runs in the third on a two-out fielding error by freshman Haley Thompson (Nicholson, Ga.) at second – making it a 5-0 game after three complete innings.
ETSU scratched its run across in the sixth when Baird’s two-out RBI double to deep left field scored Martin from first to cut the deficit to four, 5-1.
Unfortunately, the Baird RBI double was all the offense the Blue and Gold mustered off Thomas as the Golden Eagles secured their fourth straight win.
Thomas improved to 15-11 after allowing the one run on five hits in seven innings of work, while Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) – who was fresh off earning ETSU’s win over Stetson on Saturday evening – suffered the loss to drop to 5-16. Wolff was charged with five runs (three earned) on six hits in six innings of action.
Tennessee Tech threatened in the bottom of the first in game two, as they had the bases loaded and one out, but Shelby Morris (Mt. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) forced Chanelle Spalding to fly out to left and freshman Mariam Wood (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) robbed twin sister Brittney of an RBI hit when she snagged a liner at third to end the inning without any runs crossing the plate.
Once again Morris and the Bucs worked out of a jam in the second when the Golden Eagles had runners on first and second with one out, but the senior hurler got Melody Christian and Brooke Basten to record consecutive fly outs to end the frame and keeping things scoreless.
After flirting with scoring chances in the first two innings, Tennessee Tech plated three unearned runs in the third to go ahead, 3-0. The Golden Eagles scored their first run on two-out fielding error by Lily Robins (Collierville, Tenn.) at short, while pinch hitter Christian Gibbs drove in the other two runs with a single up the middle to give Tennessee Tech a three-run cushion.
In the fourth, Tennessee Tech scored five two-out runs to push its lead to 8-0, but the Blue and Gold gained an extra life in the fifth when Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.) posted a two-out double to right-center, leading to pinch runner Sade Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) scoring the run on an illegal pitch, making it a seven-run game.
The Bucs struck again for two runs on two hits in the sixth to make it an 8-3 deficit, but the Golden Eagles ended it in the bottom of the inning by plating three runs.
Junior Mikayla Treadway (Unicoi, Tenn.) reached on an error to lead off the sixth inning and scored on Hartnett’s double to left-center, while Martin worked a one-out walk and sprinted home on Everett’s single to center.
Tennessee Tech scored its runs on a Brittney Spalding two-run home run and Angi Sakamoto ended it with a double to left-center, making it an eight-run advantage.
Morris suffered the loss (2-13) after issuing the 11 runs (six earned) on 14 hits in 5.2 innings of work, while Erica Tuck earned the win (3-2) by allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits in six innings.
The Bucs return home for another midweek doubleheader when ETSU hosts Eastern Kentucky on Thursday evening at Betty Basler Field. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.