Thomas fans 10 as Tech drops Alabama St., 7-0, to split on Saturday

KENNESAW, Ga. - The Tennessee Tech softball team avenged its morning loss at the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament by shutting out Alabama State, 7-0. Sophomore Holly Thomas pitched the complete game shutout, allowing just two hits while striking out 10.

Tech improves to 1-3 as the Golden Eagles grabbed their first win of the 2010, while Alabama State falls for the fourth straight time after starting the season 2-0.

After neither team scored in the 1st, Tech jumped ahead in the 2nd inning on Chanelle Spalding's double to center, which plated Erin Cutlip who had come in to run for Callie Schmidt. Spalding also came around to score on a fielder's choice ground out by Anna Zdroik to put Tech ahead 2-0.

Tech stayed hot in the 3rd inning as the Golden Eagles scored three runs with two outs to move ahead 5-0. Schmidt and Zdroik laced RBI singles up the middle for two of the runs, and the third scored on an error by the Alabama State shortstop.

Errors continued to cost Alabama State in the sixth inning as the Golden Eagles tacked on two more runs. Kaleigh Gates singled to left to start the inning and advanced to second on an error before Melody Christian reached on an error that would score Gates. Tech would load the bases and Schidt picked up her second RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly to wrap up the TTU scoring.

That was more than enough for Thomas, who pitched 7.0 innings and allowed just four baserunners on two hits and two walks. She kept the Alabama hitters off balance all game and induced eight ground outs.

Schmidt finished 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs, while Chanelle Spalding was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Zdroik was 1-for-3 with two RBIs in her first start of the season as designated hitter.

Earlier in the day, Western Illinois improved to 6-2 with a 14-0 victory over the Golden Eagles.

Freshman Claudia Harke started in the circle for the second consecutive game for Tech, but she only lasted one inning after giving up five earned runs in the 1st inning. Junior Maddie Schmissrauter relieved Harke but did not have much success against the hot Western Illinois bats. Schmissrauter pitched 1.1 innings and allowed four earned runs before sophomore Whitney Cummings pitched the final 1.2 innings.

The Golden Eagles are scheduled to take on host Kennesaw State tomorrow at noon before returning home to face Middle Tennessee State in a double header on Wednesday. Those games are slated to begin at 1 p.m.