JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- Flawless defense and a pair of walk-off
hits allowed Jacksonville State to hand the Tennessee Tech softball
team two 8-0 losses in Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday.
In the first game, Tech (23-25, 9-8 OVC) was able to muster just two hits, one apiece from sophomores Lacie Coquerille and Callie Schmidt. Coquerille's hit came in the first inning, a single to left field, but was thrown out as she tried to stretch it into a double.
The Gamecocks (29-9,13-1 OVC) jumped on top in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases on an error and two walks with no outs. Freshman pitcher Holly Thomas was able to get out of the jam giving up just one run, that coming on a sacrifice fly by Meredith Sellers.
That score held until the bottom of the fourth when Jacksonville State put up four more off of a walk, two doubles and two home runs, extending the lead to 5-0.
Schmidt's single came in the fifth, but had no impact as the Golden Eagles were unable to bring her across the plate.
JSU added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth on two singles, a walk and a double by Allie Barker. Hillary Downs ended the game in the sixth with her second home run of the game, a walk-off shot to right field.
Thomas (12-12) suffered the loss, striking out four and allowing ten hits and walking a career-high eight batters.
Karla Pitmann (10-1) got the two-hit win for the Gamecocks, walking zero, but striking out only two.
Tech started game two in the hole after a lead-off triple by Chrissy O'Neal setup the one-run inning for JSU.
The Gamecocks doubled their lead in the second when, after a lead-off single, Downs doubled down the left-field line to score Allison Svoboda.
Walks to Barker and Svoboda in the third setup Jackie Jarman for a three-run home run to left-center, putting the Gamecocks up 5-0.
Coquerille and fellow sophomore Katie Betry each had singles in the fourth, but were stranded on base as sophomore Kaleigh Gates fouled out to end the inning.
Tech left two more on base in the fifth after Thomas drew a walk and sophomore Taylor Horseman singled and Coquerille flied out to center for the third out.
Jacksonville State ended the second game early as well, scoring three runs in the fifth to run-rule the Golden Eagles. Singles by Svoboda and Jarman, coupled with another double by Downs, set up O'Neal for a walk-off double to drive in the eighth and final run.
Senior Kristina Hortert (1-3) took the loss for Tech, giving up 11 hits and striking out a pair.
Ashley Eliasson (12-4), the 2008 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year, got the win, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out five.
Coquerille was the top performer for Tech from the plate, going 2-5 on the day with a pair of singles. Schmidt, Horseman, and Betry each had one single each.
The series will conclude on Sunday with a single game between the two at 1 p.m. in Jacksonville.