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March 23, 2010

Thomas, Schmissrauter hold Belmont scoreless, Tech wins two at home

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech softball team won a pair of shutouts on Tuesday evening at the Tech Softball Field, defeating visiting Belmont, 10-0, in game one before taking a 5-0 decision in the nightcap. The victories were the Golden Eagles first of the season on their home field.

Tech improves to 12-15 on the season while the Bruins fall to 3-21.

Tech 10, Belmont 0
A 10-run third inning by the Golden Eagles accounted for all the runs in game one of the doubleheader. Tech sent 14 batters to the plate in the frame as six of TTU’s 10 runs came with two outs.

Brooke Basten reached base to start the inning on an error by the BU pitcher, and Melody Christian followed with a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt by Lacie Coquerille moved both runners into scoring position, Tech took advantage of another Belmont error that scored Basten from third for the first run of the game.

With two on and one out, Callie Schmidt came to the plate. After working deep into the count, Schmidt popped up into foul territory but the catcher could not handle the ball, giving Schmidt new life. She would take advantage on the very next pitch as she crushed a three-run homer over the left-center field fence to give the Golden Eagles a 4-0 lead.

Two batters later, Kaleigh Gates walked, and Chanelle Spalding narrowly missed her first collegiate home run as she followed with a double off the right-center field fence that plated Gates all the way from first base.

Stacey Butts came to bat next and worked a one-out walk to turn the batting order over. Basten followed with a single to left field that scored Spalding from second, and one batter later, Christian singled for the second time in the inning to bring home another TTU run.

With two outs in the inning, Coquerille added to the lead with a two-RBI single to right-center field, bringing home Christian and Basten to give Tech a 9-0 advantage. Cummings followed with a walk before two consecutive wild pitches allowed a Coquerille to come around and score the 10th and final run of the inning.

Starter Holly Thomas handled the Belmont offense, allowing just two hits and no runs in five innings on the mound. She struck out three as she recorded her second shutout of the season. Thomas evened her record at 7-7 while lowering her season earned run average to 3.27.

Schmidt finished 2-for-3 with her sixth home run of the season and three RBIs, while Christian went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Basten also scored twice as eight different Golden Eagles crossed home plate in the win.

Tech 5, Belmont 0
Junior pitcher Maddie Schmissrauter moved into fifth place on Tech’s all-time strikeouts list as she blanked Belmont in TTU’s second game of the day. Schmissrauter went the distance and allowed just five hits while striking out nine.

Schmissrauter, who improved to 5-4 on the season with the win, now has 308 career strikeouts as she moved past Adrienne Fortmann who finished her career with 302. Schmissrauter is now nine punch outs away from fourth place on the all-time list.

Tech needed just one hit to put four runs on the board in the second inning as the Golden Eagles used five consecutive one-out walks to bring home the first two runs of the game. Christian added the third Golden Eagle run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Erin Cutlip from third base, and Coquerille followed with a single to bring home Jessica Steele and give Tech a 4-0 cushion.

Following a scoreless third inning, Tech strung together three consecutive singles in the fourth inning to plate the team’s fifth run of the game. Christian started the hit parade with a bunt single to the shortstop before Coquerille and Cummings hit back-to-back singles, the second of which brought home Christian to put TTU ahead, 5-0.

Schmissrauter held the Bruins scoreless the rest of the way as the Golden Eagles cruised to their fourth consecutive win, capped off by catch Callie Schmidt picking off a BU runner at third base for the final out of the day.

Coquerille led the way offensively for Tech, finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI. Christian and Cummings also singled for the Golden Eagles and each batted in a run.

Next up the Golden Eagles will be at Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Ill., for a three-game set against the Panthers. Tech will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. before having a single game on Sunday also with a 1 p.m. start time.