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Pitching the order of the day as Golden Eagles drop two one-run games

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Tennessee Tech softball team came up just short in a pair of pitching duels Saturday, losing one-run games against Syracuse and Georgia State. The Golden Eagles began the day with a 2-1 loss to the Syracuse Orange, followed with a 3-2 loss to the host Georgia State Panthers.

Offense was at a premium in Tech's opening contest against Syracuse as both teams combined for just six hits and 10 walks.
 
Tech built an early threat in the first inning as it loaded the bases with nobody out. With one out and a 3-2 count, senior Kaleigh Gates coaxed a walk to put Tech up 1-0, but a fielder's choice and a groundout ended the Golden Eagle threat.
 
Sophomore pitcher Claudia Harke kept the Orange in check for the first two innings, but Syracuse scored a pair in the third behind three hits and a walk to take the lead 2-1.
 
Syracuse pitcher Jenna Ciara locked in as she survived a pair of Golden Eagle rallies in the sixth and seventh innings to take the game 2-1 as she only gave up three hits and six walks, while striking out five.
 
Harke was saddled with the loss as she surrendered two runs on three hits while striking out three in four innings of work. Junior Whitney Cummings came on for the final two innings as she held the Orange hitless while striking out one.
 
Senior Lacie Coquerille, Cummings and sophomore Chanelle Spalding each recorded a hit, as Gates drove in Tech's only run of the contest.
 
As with the Syracuse game, pitching dominated during TTU's second contest of the day against Georgia State, which the Bulldogs won in the bottom of the seventh.
 
With only one hit in the first three innings, Tech's bats came alive in the fourth as Cummings singled to center, setting the stage for senior Callie Schmidt to belt a two-run home run to center field to put the Golden Eagles up, 2-0.
 
Junior Holly Thomas cruised through the first four innings, giving up only one hit while striking out two, but in the fifth Emily Althafer stepped up with a runner on and drove a pitch over the center field fence to knot the score at two.
 
With the scored still tied at two in the bottom of the seventh, Georgia State's Audrey Mason opened with a single down the left field line and advanced to second on a fielders choice. Cummings then walked the next batter as Mason advanced to third on a wild pitch. Mason then scored the game-winning run as Tech attempted to throw out the runner stealing second.
 
Kaitlyn Medlam earned the win, pitching 1.2 innings and striking three, while Cummings took the loss giving up one run.
 
At the plate, Schmidt reach base three times including one walk and a pair of hits, including her two-run home run in the fourth, to pace the Golden Eagles.
 
Tennessee Tech's next five contests come via the North Texas Tournament. The three day tournament begins Friday as the Golden Eagles square off with Centenary at 10 a.m. and Nebraska at 12:30 p.m.