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March 9, 2010

Tech falls short in doubleheader against No. 25 Lipscomb

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Behind a pair of dominant pitching performances, the No. 25 Lipscomb Lady Bisons swept a doubleheader against Tennessee Tech on Tuesday at the Tech Softball Field. Lipscomb earned a 5-0 win in the first contest before edging TTU, 2-1, in the nightcap.

Tech drops to 8-9 overall this season with the two defeats, while Lipscomb improves to 18-1. The Lady Bisons, ranked No. 25 in the latest Ultimate College Softball poll, have won 15 consecutive games after losing their third game of the season to South Alabama.

Lipscomb 5, Tech 0
The Golden Eagles had a tough task from the outset for Tuesday’s game as they fell behind 3-0 in the first inning as the Lady Bisons took advantage of a Golden Eagle error to score a pair of unearned runs.

To make matters more difficult, TTU was facing Lipscomb’s Whitney Kiihnl who entered the game with an 11-0 record and 0.11 earned run average.

Tech looked like it might have something going in the bottom half of the 2nd inning as Callie Schmidt lined a singled past the second baseman to put the leadoff batter aboard. Two batters later, Holly Thomas was hit by a pitch to put two runners on with two outs, but both would be stranded as Kiihnl struck out her third batter of the inning to get out of the frame.

A scary moment occurred in the top of the 3rd when Thomas, Tech’s starting pitcher, could not get out of the way of a hard-hit line drive that struck the sophomore in the stomach. Thomas regained her composure and tracked down the ball in time to throw to first base for the out. After taking several minutes to collect herself and recover from the blow, Thomas remained in the game and held Lipscomb at bay for the next three innings.

Claudia Harke relieved Thomas in the 7th inning as Lipscomb tacked on two more to close out the game with a five-run lead.

Schmidt recorded Tech’s only hit of the day as she finished 1-for-3. Anna Zdroik battled in her three plate appearances as she went 0-for-1 with a pair of walks.

Thomas’ final line was 6.0 innings pitched with four strikeouts and one earned run allowed as she dropped to 5-4 this season.

Lipscomb 2, Tech 1
Tech fell behind early in the second game as well when Lipscomb used a Golden Eagle error that put the leadoff batter on first base to eventually take a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly.

The Golden Eagles battled back in their half of the 2nd as Kaleigh Gates started the inning with a single to left field. Tech starter Maddie Schmissrauter then reached on a Lady Bison error to put runners at first and second with no outs. Brittany Spalding laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up a base, and two batters later, Brooke Basten hit a hard grounder that was mishandled by the second baseman, allowing Gates to score and tie the game, 1-1.

Lipscomb answered in the top of the 3rd with a run to regain the lead, 2-1.

In the bottom of the 4th, the Golden Eagles nearly tied the game at 2-2, but Schmissrauter was gunned out at home trying to score from second on a single up the middle by Basten. Schmissrauter had started the inning with a single to left field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Leff.

Lipscomb was able to hold Tech without a hit the rest of the way to cap off the 2-1 win.

Gates, Schmissrauter and Whitney Cummings all finished 1-for-2 at the plate in game two of the doubleheader.

Schmissrauter (3-2) was the tough-luck loser as she struck out eight and allowed just three hits and one earned run in 7.0 innings in the circle.

Tech returns to action on Thursday when the Golden Eagles take on Liberty at the Tech Softball Field beginning at 4 p.m. Admission to all TTU regular season home softball games is free.