March 22, 2009

Golden Eagles remain unscathed in OVC, sweep Lady Govs with 5-2 Sunday win

COOKEVLLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech had lots of base runners Sunday, and this time the Golden Eagle softball team got a couple of clutch hits with the bases loaded on their way to a 5-2 victory over Austin Peay to sweep the three-game Ohio Valley Conference series from the Lady Govs at the Tech Softball Field.

With the win, the Golden Eagles (16-15) remained the only undefeated team in the league and in first place with a 5-0 OVC record. Austin Peay’s record fell to 6-22 overall and 0-5 in the OVC.

The clutch hits came from sophomores Katie Betry and Lacie Coquerille in the early innings, and supported a solid combined pitching effort from freshman Holly Thomas and sophomore Maddie Schmissrauter.

Thomas (8-7) earned the win after throwing the first five innings, allowing five hits and three walks while striking out six. Schmissrauter claimed her first save of the year, blanking APSU through the final two innings. She yielded one hit and one walk, and struck out three.

Just as they did Saturday in losing two close games, the Lady Govs made Tech work for the victory. The Lady Govs showed patience at the plate and had base runners in every inning but the first to keep the pressure on Thomas and Schmissratuer.

Sophomore Katie Betry delivered a bases loaded, line shot into the right field corner for a two-run double in the first inning, giving the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead. It came after Coquerille and Whitney Cummings had singled, and Thomas drew a four-pitch walk as the Lady Govs pitched carefully to the slugging Tech freshman.

The Golden Eagles also loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning on three hits, but APSU starter Abby Mabry got out of that jam with a grounder for the third out.

Austin Peay knotted the game with two runs in the third. Randal Davenport singled past third base with one out for the Lady Govs’ first hit of the contest. With two outs, Brittany Williams drove a double to the left field fence, scoring Davenport from second and making it a 2-1 game. The next hitter, Catie Cozart, singled through the right side and the ball was mishandled in right field, allowing Williams to score the tying run.

In Tech’s third inning, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases with a walk to Kimmie White and two infield errors. With two outs, Coquerille ripped a single to center to score two runs for the 4-2 lead.

Tech added a run in the sixth as Coquerille walked and Whitney Cummings doubled to the fence in right field to make it 5-2.

Cummings went 3-for-4 with one RBI and Coquerille was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Six different players had one hit each for the Lady Govs. Mabry (2-5) took the loss, pitching three innings and allowing two earned runs on seven hits. She walked two and struck out three. Ashley Bolda pitched the final three innings, allowing one run on one hit and one walk, and striking out three.

The next action for the Golden Eagles comes Tuesday with a game at Middle Tennessee State, beginning at 4 p.m. Tech’s next OVC series is on the road next weekend at Southeast Missouri. Tech’s next home game is on Tuesday, March 31 with a single game against Texas-El Paso to open a 10-game homestand.