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Postseason hopes rest on weekend series with Southeast Missouri

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – After having its three-game series washed out last weekend, the Tennessee Tech softball team will return to action this weekend with its postseason hopes hanging in the balance. The good news is that the Golden Eagles control their own destiny and can guarantee themselves a spot in the six-team field with at least two wins in three games this weekend.

The rain that forced the majority of games to be canceled last weekend actually tightened the race for the postseason. As it currently stands, UT Martin has secured the top seed in the tournament and will serve as the tournament host. Morehead State has locked up the second seed, while Jacksonville State and Eastern Illinois also have a guaranteed spot in the field.

Murray State is currently the fifth seed, half a game ahead of Tech with the sixth seed. The Golden Eagles are 1.5 games ahead of seventh place Austin Peay and two games ahead of eighth-place Eastern Kentucky.

Tennessee State sits in ninth place in the league and has slim hopes of an OVC Tournament berth still remaining, while Southeast Missouri has been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Golden Eagles (23-27, 9-11 OVC) will retake the field for the first time in nine days on Saturday for the first game of a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. Tech will then play the third game of the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. scheduled start time.

Tech has swept of each of its past three doubleheaders, and a fourth in a row this Saturday would etch TTU into the playoff field.

The Redhawks (16-29, 5-15 OVC) will enter the weekend series having played recently as they split a doubleheader against Saint Louis on Wednesday, winning the first game, 6-3, before falling in the nightcap, 9-1. In addition, SEMO was one of the few teams who were not affected by last weekend's rainstorms. The Redhawks were home against UT Martin, falling in each of their three games.

Over its past 10 games, Southeast Missouri is 3-7.

Tech has hit its stride of late and will look to keep its success going despite its most lengthy layoff of the season. The Golden Eagles have won seven of their past 10 games and are coming off their first winning month of the season after finishing April with a 10-8 mark. What makes Tech's April record even more impressive is the fact that 10 of their games were played against the top five teams in the OVC.

For the Golden Eagles, Whitney Cummings has been hitting the cover off the ball lately with five homers in her last six games. She has 11 for the season, the second most in the OVC and tied for the fifth highest single-season total in TTU history. In comparison, Southeast Missouri has hit 12 homers as a team so far this season.

Lacie Coquerille has also been a key player in Tech's recent success. The junior has made the most of her RBI opportunities, batting .400 (14-for-35) this season with runners in scoring position.

Cummings and Coquerille will lead the Golden Eagles against Southeast Missouri beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Tech Softball Field. Admission is free.

Live stats will be available for the game through TTUsports.com.