Golden Eagles open OVC slate with two wins at Austin Peay
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tech’s bats came to life against Austin Peay on Saturday as the Golden Eagle softball team earned two victories in a doubleheader in Clarksville. TTU won a slugfest to start the day, 12-8, before taking a 5-2 victory in the nightcap.
Freshman Melody Christian finished the day 6-for-9 with four runs scored, while sophomore Whitney Cummings was 3-for-8 with a home run, four runs scored and five RBIs for the Golden Eagles who won their first two games of the OVC season.
Tech improves to 10-15 overall and 2-0 in the conference, while Austin Peay drops to 5-17 overall and 0-2 in the OVC.
Tech 12, Austin Peay 8
The Golden Eagles and Lady Govs played a wild game to start the day that featured 20 runs, 16 hits and eight errors combined between the two teams. Tech’s final line included a season-high 12 runs on nine hits, while the team committed three errors on defense.
The 1st inning was an exciting one for TTU as the Golden Eagles put a nine spot on the scoreboard before the Lady Govs came to bat. Christian started the rally with a single to lead off the game before Lacie Coquerille laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her to second. Coquerille also reached base on the play after beating out the play at first base to put two on with no outs for TTU.
Cummings came to bat next and reached on an error by the APSU shortstop before Callie Schmidt delivered a bases-loaded single to plate Christian and give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Tech took advantage of a second Austin Peay error as the second baseman mishandled a ball hit by Holly Thomas, allowing two runs to score.
Kaleigh Gates came to bat and did not need to lift the bat off her shoulder before TTU tacked on another run. The Golden Eagles had runners on first and second when a passed ball moved Jessica Steele – who had entered as a pinch runner for Schmidt – to third and Thomas to second. Shortly after, a wild pitch brought Steele home and moved Thomas up to third.
A third error by Austin Peay plated Thomas and allowed Gates to go all the way to third before she scored on a passed ball, putting Tech in front, 6-0.
Still with no outs in the top of the 1st inning, Stacey Butts walked and Brooke Basten was hit by a hit by a pitch to put two Golden Eagles back on base before Lindsey Umberger, the ninth Tech batter of the inning, singled to score Butts from second base.
The Lady Govs finally got their first out of the game on a strikeout by Christian, but Coquerille came to the plate next and singled to score Basten from second, stretching the Golden Eagle lead to 8-0. With Cummings at-bat for the second time inning, Tech would add another run on a wild pitch that allowed Umberger to score from third base.
Improbably, the Golden Eagles scored nine runs in the 1st inning on just four hits. Tech benefited from three APSU errors, two wild pitches and two passed balls in the frame.
The Lady Govs answered with three runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning to cut their deficit to six, 9-3, but Tech added two runs in the top of the 5th to build its lead back to eight, 11-3.
Christian again started the inning off with a single before Coquerille sacrificed her to second. Cummings delivered a one-out double to bring Christian home from second, and two batters later, Thomas roped a single that brought Cummings home.
The Lady Govs would score two in the bottom of the inning and three in the bottom of the 6th to avoid the eight-run rule and come within three, 11-8.
In the top of the 7th, Tech would score an insurance run as Cummings plated Christian, who started the inning with a single, giving Tech a 12-8 lead. That would prove to be the final score as Claudia Harke shut down the Lady Govs in their last at-bats to secure the victory.
Harke entered in the 6th inning after Thomas pitched 5.0 innings and struck out four while allowing three earned runs. Thomas improves her record to 6-7 this season in the circle.
Tech 5, Austin Peay 2
A three-run homer by Cummings turned a 2-1 Golden Eagle deficit into a 4-2 Tech lead in the 4th inning, and pitcher Maddie Schmissrauter kept the Lady Govs off of the scoreboard from there as the Golden Eagles picked up a three-run victory.
Schmidt hit a single down the left field line that scored Cummings from second base to start the scoring in the top of the 1st inning, but the Lady Govs responded in their half of the 2nd inning with two runs to grab a 2-1 lead.
That lead held until Cummings’ home run in the 4th inning. Jordan Leff took a one-out walk, and Christian followed with a single to right field. Two batters later, Cummings drove one deep over the left-center field fence for her fifth dinger of the season, giving Tech a two-run lead.
The Golden Eagles manufactured a run in the 5th inning to put them ahead by three, 5-2, and Schmissrauter along with the TTU defense took care of the rest, ending the game two innings later on a double play.
Four Golden Eagles finished the game with two hits. Cummings went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs, Christian finished 2-for-4 with a run scored, Schmidt was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Gates went 2-for-3 with a double.
Schmissrauter pitched the complete game for TTU, finishing with five strikeouts, while allowing just two runs by the Lady Govs. The junior evens her record at 4-4 this season and now has a 1-0 mark in conference play.
The Golden Eagles return to action tomorrow when they play the third game of the three-game series versus Austin Peay. Game time in Clarksville is scheduled for noon on Sunday.