May 9, 2010

Tech falls to SEMO in final regular-season game

OVC Tournament Field Set (click here for OVC recap of tourney)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- A strong pitching performance by Southeast Missouri's Stefanie Barnes allowed the Redhawks to pick up a win in their final game of the regular season, topping the Tennessee Tech softball team by a score of 2-0.

After a pair of wins yesterday, the Golden Eagles (25-28, 11-12 OVC) secured their spot as the sixth-seed in the 2010 OVC Championship Tournament which is scheduled to begin Thursday at UT-Martin.

The Redhawks (17-31, 6-17 OVC) jumped on top in the first inning, scoring two runs on two hits. Melissa Walker led off the inning with a walk and came around to score after a sacrifice bunt and a single by Nicole Troncoso. Troncoso then made her way around the bases with the help of a wild pitch and another SEMO single.

Tech got two runners on in the botttom of the frame, but was unable to bring any runners across, keeping the score 2-0.

The next three innings consisted of just three hits by both teams combined before SEMO loaded the bases in the fifth. Back-to-back singles and a walk put three runners on with two outs. A ground ball off the glove of pitcher Holly Thomas ended up in the possession of shortstop Samantha Everett who flipped it to second for the force out and getting Tech out of the jam.

After Claudia Harke came in to pitch in the sixth for Tech, the Redhawks got two runners on with a single and an error by the Tech infield. However, Harke shut them down as Jennifer Vasquez grounded out to her for the final out of the inning.

In the seventh, SEMO again got three runners on base, but junior Callie Scmidt was able to catch Carmen Fowler stealing for the second out, leaving two on with two out. Harke then struck out Shelby Stein on three straight pitches to end the Redhawk threat.

Barnes threw all seven shutout innings for SEMO, allowing just three hits and walking a pair.

The Golden Eagles did not strike out in the game, but mustered just five base runners in the contest.

Thomas allowed five hits and two runs in her five innings of work, striking out six and walking three. Harke struck out one and gave up two hits in two innings.

Offensively, the Golden Eagles were led by freshman Chanelle Spalding (pictured) who went 2-2 with a walk. Schmidt picked up the other hit for Tech.

The full schedule for the OVC Tournament will be released Sunday evening after the conclusion of all of Sunday's games. The double-elimination format of the tournament guarantees each team will play at least one game on Thursday and one on Friday. The championship game is slated for Saturday.