February 19, 2012

Offensive fireworks lead Tech to 9-7 win over Connecticut

ATHENS, Ga. -- Sophomore Cassie Garrett had four hits, including two doubles, and was one of five Golden Eagles with multi-hit games as the Tennessee Tech softball team erupted for 15 hits to claim a 9-7 comeback victory over Connecticut Sunday to wrap up play at the Georgia Bulldog Classic.

Tech (4-5) sparked an early lead in the game with the help of three hits and an error in the first. The Golden Eagles loaded the bases with no outs. After Garrett was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice, a single to right by junior Brittney Spalding scored sophomore Melody Christian from third. That would be the only run Tech would muster in the frame as Connecticut pitcher Kiki Saveriano struck out a pair to get out of the jam.

UConn (1-2) came barking back in the second, putting two on with a walk and a Tech error. Amy Vaughan hit a 3-2 pitch over the center-field wall to give the Huskies a 3-1 lead.

Play was then suspended due to inclement weather in the bottom of the third, and would resume Sunday morning.

The Golden Eagles loaded the bases once again in the third on a fielder's choice, walk and a single. With two outs and two strikes, freshman Angi Sakamoto doubled to score all three runners to make it 4-3. A double by Garrett scored Sakamoto to tack on another run.

Once again, UConn answered in the fourth, scoring three runs including two on a wild pitch and an error. The Huskies would tack on another run in the fifth with the help of a hit batter and a Tech error, making the score 7-5.

Tech stormed back in the bottom of the frame to retake the lead. With two on, Garrett hit her second double of the game to score runners from second and third. After advancing to third on a groundout, Garrett came in to score on a single to right by senior Brooke Basten, giving the Golden Eagles an 8-7 lead.

The Huskies would threaten once again in the sixth, loading the bases with two outs. Tech freshman Erica Tuck was able to force Vaughan to ground out to third to end the inning.

Brittney Spalding singled to open the sixth for the Golden Eagles, looking to tack on some insurance runs. She would come around to score with help of a sacrifice bunt, a single by her sister Chanelle, and a double by senior Samantha Everett.

Tuck shut down the Huskies in the seventh, striking out two of the three batters to give Tech the 9-7 victory. She picked up the win in four innings of work, allowing just two hits and two earned runs while striking out six. Tuck split her time in the circle, pitching the first, second, sixth and seventh innings.

She had support from junior Claudia Harke, who struck out five and gave up only one run in her 2.2 innings pitched.

Garrett led Tech on offense, going 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two doubles. Basten found her groove, going 3-for-4 from the plate with an RBI. Chanelle Spalding was the only Golden Eagle to score more than one run, going 2-for-3, scoring twice. As a team, Tech hit 15-of-33 and drew two walks.

The Golden Eagles will return to action next weekend at the annual Frost Classic in Chattanooga.