Golden Eagles win slugfest at Western Kentucky, 9-7

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Brittney Spalding crushed a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning that proved to be the game winner and propel the Tennessee Tech softball team to a 9-7 victory over Western Kentucky on Wednesday evening in Bowling Green, Ky.

The Golden Eagles improve to 3-1 in night games this season after winning a game that featured a combined 11 extra-base hits, 23 total hits and 16 runs.

Following a quick first inning, the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second after Callie Schmidt hit a two-run homer to center field.

Tech (23-27) tacked on one more run in the third inning when sophomore Whitney Cummings hit a 2-2 pitch over the right-center field fence, giving TTU a 3-0 lead.

Western Kentucky (26-23) kept the game close, scoring three runs in their half of the third inning to knot the score at 3-3 before taking its first lead of the game with another run in the fourth inning to go ahead, 4-3.

Tech would rebound in the fifth inning as the Golden Eagles pounded out five hits, including a two-run home run from Cummings for her second of the game. Following the homer, Kaleigh Gates doubled and both Lacie Coquerille and Schmidt added back-to-back singles, the latter of which plated Gates to put TTU in front, 6-4.

A three-run bottom of the fifth inning from WKU put Tech behind once again, but the Golden Eagles would score three runs for the second straight inning in the sixth to regain the lead for good.

Melody Christian started the top of the sixth with a triple, and Chanelle Spalding followed with a walk. With Brittany Spalding coming to the plate next, Christian took advantage of a wild pitch to come home from third and tie the game at 7-7. Spalding then hit her second home run of the season to secure the two-run victory for Tech.

In addition to hitting two home runs, Cummings (1-2) also picked up her first victory of the season in the circle after going 1 2/3 innings in relief. Holly Thomas started the game for Tech and reentered in the sixth inning as she earned her second save of the 2010 campaign.

Cummings finished the game 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs. She now has a team-leading 11 home runs on the season and five in her last six games.

Gates went 3-for-4 with a run scored, Samantha Everett was 3-for-4 and Schmidt ended 2-for-3 with three RBIs and her eighth home run of the season.

Tech returns to action this weekend when Eastern Kentucky comes to Cookeville for a three-game series. The two teams play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. before having a single game on Sunday with the same start time.