Golden Eagles top Kennesaw twice, claim third place at Owls' tourney

KENNESAW, Ga. – Tennessee Tech claimed third place Saturday in the first Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament, hosted by Kennesaw State University, beating the host Owls twice as three Golden Eagles earned all-tournament honors.

Sophomores Callie Schmidt and Katie Betry and freshman Holly Thomas earned their places on the 13-player all-tourney squad after Tech downed KSU 7-6 in eight innings and 5-2 in the third place contest. Tech (5-4) heads to the west coast this week to play in the Palm Spring Classic, where it will meet Texas, Oregon State, Loyola Marymount, UC Santa Barbara and Brigham Young.

Thomas got the win in the circle with a complete game in the second contest, and also went 2-for-5 at the play with three RBI. She scored twice and walked twice.

Betry had a big day at the plate, going 5-for-8 and scoring twice. Schmidt was 3-for-4, with a double and home run, and scored twice.

Tech took a 6-3 lead in the seventh, but needed an extra inning to claim the first win of the day after the Owls also scored three times in the seventh.

Tech got a single run in the second as Betry singled, moved to second on a sacrifice by Schmidt, and an RBI single by Maddie Schmissrauter. Kennesaw pitcher Jessica Cross got out of trouble, stranding runners at second and third with a fly ball to end the threat.

The Owls took a 3-1 lead with three runs in the third, all coming on a three-run home run by Cross, who finished the game with six RBI.

Tech got one run back in the fourth as Thomas singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI ground out by Schmissrauter. The Golden Eagles tied things at 3-3 in the fifth when Cassidy Skeen walked and went to second on a wild pitch, and came around to score an unearned run on an error in the outfield.

The Golden Eagles appeared to run away with the game with a three-run seventh for a 6-3 lead. Lacie Coquerille and Whitney Cummings each poked one-out singles and Thomas blasted a home run to left field. Tech loaded the bases with singles by Betry and Schmidt and a walk to Schmissrauter, but Cross once again bailed her team out of trouble.

With two outs and two on, Cross ripped her second three-run home run to tie the contest.

Tech’s game-winning run in the eight was scored by freshman Jordan Leff, who was placed on second to open the frame. She was moved to third on Skeen’s sacrifice and scored on a single to right by Coquerille. Tech’s bid to add another run was snuffed when Coquerille was thrown out at home plate to end the inning.

Schmissrauter faced a threat in the bottom of the eight as Kennesaw had two runners aboard with one out. The sophomore pitcher struck out the last two batters for the victory.

Schmissrauter (3-2) worked all eight innings, allowing eight hits and four walks while striking out 13 Owl batters. Cross (2-2) took the loss, despite her heroics at the plate. She worked eight innings, walked four and struck out three.

Thomas (2-2) was the winning pitcher in the second game for Tech, working seven innings and allowing five hits, two earned runs and three walks with three strikeouts.

Each team scored once in the first inning, KSU without a hit as Thomas got off to a shaky start. She walked the second hitter in the Owl lineup then hit the next three batters to force home the opening run. Thomas threw Cross out at the plate to end the inning.

Tech’s first run came on a double by Coquerille, a groundout and a wild pitch to tie the game.

Thomas settled down and tossed three scoreless innings and the Golden Eagles provided support with two runs in the fourth for a 3-1 lead. With Betry aboard and out, Schmidt pulled a home run down the left field line.

KSU made it 3-2 with a double and single to lead off the fifth, but Thomas got out of the inning with a strikeout and double play.

Tech added single runs in the fifth and sixth to make it 5-2. Betry poked a two-out single to drive home Coquerille in the fifth, and Schmidt doubled and scored on a single by Skeen in the sixth.

1st Annual Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament

Tournament Champions

Tournament MVP
Lauren Zembruski, SIU-Edwardsville

All Tournament Team
Katie Betry, Tennessee Tech
Bri Birl, Wright State
Jessica Cross, Kennesaw State
Kaitlin Colosimo, SIU-Edwardsville
Louis Haney, Wright State
Ashleigh Jackson, Wright State
Courtney Mall, SIU-Edwardsville
Chaleen Rumpf, SIU-Edwardsville
Callie Schmidt, Tennessee Tech
Justine Shilt, Wright State
Erika Taylor, SIU-Edwardsville
Holly Thomas, Tennessee Tech
Klair Wells, Kennesaw State