Softball team drops two conference contests at Eastern Illinois

Charleston, Ill – The Tennessee Tech softball team was unable to get its offense going on Saturday, dropping a pair of Ohio Valley Conferene game at Eastern Illinois, 1-0 and 4-2.

The losses snap a four-game winning streak over the past week by the Golden Eagles.

Tech (12-17, 2-2 OVC) was able to muster just two hits in the first game, including a second-inning triple by junior Kaleigh Gates.

Gates’ triple was one of only two hits by either team until the Panthers (11-11, 3-0 OVC) were able to load the bases in the fourth. After a brief meeting from coach Tory Acheson, sophomore pitcher Holly Thomas and the Tech defense were able to strand all three runners on base.

Tech threatened in the fifth when Gates and freshman Chanelle Spalding led off the inning with a pair of walks. EIU pitcher Amber May held the Golden Eagles scoreless, striking out a pair in the fifth and 10 in the game.

The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth when EIU’s Kiley Holtz led off the frame with a single and came in to score after another single and a sacrifice bunt by the Panthers.

Freshman Claudia Harke got the starting nod in game two for the Golden Eagles, but was unable to contain the EIU bats, allowing six hits and a pair of runs in her 3 1/3 innings.

The first of those runs came in the second inning on a two-out, two-run home run off the bat of Abby Wood, the first of her career.

The Golden Eagles responded in the top of the third when sophomore Brooke Basten led off with a single. After a pair of sacrifices, she was driven in on a double to left field by junior Lacie Coquerille.

EIU again loaded the bases in the bottom of the third on a single and two walks, but a groundout to Coquerille kept the score at 2-1.

That score held until Gates stepped up with two outs in the sixth and ripped her fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to right field to tie the contest.

The Panthers regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, leading off the inning with a double and a single. EIU then took advantage of Tech miscues when a hit batter, failed pickoff attempt and wild pitch allowed a pair of runs to cross the plate, finishing the scoring at 4-2.

Sophomore Whitney Cummings came in to pitch the final 2.2 innings in relief, but had no luck taming the Panthers as she suffered her first loss from the circle. She gave up two runs on three hits and struck out a pair.

Gates led the Golden Eagles at the plate, hitting 3-4 with a home run and RBI.

Tech earned eight hits on the day, but left 10 stranded.

The Golden Eagles are scheduled to wrap up the three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. before returning to host Jacksonville State on Tuesday. That doubleheader against the Gamecocks is slated for 3 p.m. at the Tech Softball Field.