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Tech pitchers blank UT Martin in 6-0 victory

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Three Tennessee Tech pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout of OVC-leading UT Martin on Sunday afternoon at the Tech Softball Field as the Golden Eagles won the series finale, 6-0. Pitchers Holly Thomas, Claudia Harke and Whitney Cummings combined to hold the Skyhawk offense scoreless for just the second time this season.

Thomas began the game for TTU and got the Golden Eagles off to a good start, pitching three shutout innings without allowing a hit. Harke entered in the fourth inning and kept the no-hit bid alive until the fifth inning when UTM broke through with a single. Cummings made her eighth appearance of the season when she came into the game in the sixth inning to close out the win with two scoreless frames.

The TTU offense put runs on the board in both the third and fifth innings to take a 4-0 lead after five innings.

In the third, Kaleigh Gates beat out an infield single with two outs, and Callie Schmidt followed with a clean single through the middle to put runners on first and second. After a Lacie Coquerille walk, Brittney Spalding delivered the first run of the game with an RBI single to left field, giving Tech a 1-0 advantage.

In the fifth, Chanelle Spalding started a three-run rally with a double to left-center to lead off the inning. Gates followed with a double of her own that scored Spalding to make the score 2-0 in favor of TTU.

Two batters later, Coquerille hit an RBI single to center field that brought home Gates before Cummings poked a single into right field that was mishandled by the Skyhawks, allowing Coquerille to score all the way from first base.

The Golden Eagles added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as Jordan Leff and Melody Christian began the inning with back-to-back singles. Following a pair of outs, Schmidt doubled over the right fielder’s head to plate both runners and give TTU a 6-0 lead.

That was more than enough for Tech as Cummings sat down the Skyhawks in order in the seventh to preserve the six-run win.

The Golden Eagles improved to 16-23 overall and 5-8 in the OVC, while UT Martin suffered just its seventh defeat of the season in moving to 29-7 overall and 10-3 in the conference.

Three Tech players finished with two hits on the afternoon. Gates went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Schmidt was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Christian also finished with a pair of hits as she went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Harke earned the second win of her college career, both of which came this week, after pitching two innings and striking out two. The freshman induced three groundouts as part of the Golden Eagles staff that forced 14 groundball outs on Sunday.

The Golden Eagles continue its OVC schedule on Wednesday, April 14 when Tech travels to Jacksonville State for a 4 p.m. contest.