March 6, 2012

Mastadons pick up a pair of wins in Tech's home opener

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team had its home opener spoiled by the IPFW Mastadons on Tuesday as the Golden Eagles dropped games by scores of 4-0 and 5-2.

The first game saw a pitching onslaught as neither team managed a run through five innings of play. Tech senior Holly Thomas and IPFW's Courtney Cronin battled back and forth, allowing just two hits apiece going into the sixth.

With two runners in scoring position, the Mastadons used a squeeze play and an error by the Golden Eagles to score the first two runs of the game.

After holding Tech to just one hit in the bottom of the frame, IPFW tacked on two more insurance runs in the seventh to end the scoring at 4-0.

Thomas suffered the loss, fanning six batters and allowing six hits. She gave up three earned runs, pitching her seventh complete game of the season.

Cronin, the reigning Summit League Player of the Week, took the win, allowing three hits while striking out five.

Game two started out just the opposite of the first, as all seven runs were scored in the first three innings. IPFW scored one run in the first, which was quickly nulled by Tech in the bottom half of the inning.

Following back-to-back singles and a double steal by sophomore Kayla Floyd and junior Melody Christian, junior Chanelle Spalding hit a slow grounder to first that allowed Floyd to score. Brittney Spalding then singled through the right side, scoring Christian and giving Tech the 2-1 lead.

IPFW tied the game in the second with a solo home run by Dani Pugh to left center. The Mastadons then sparked a three run third on four hits, but left the bases loaded as Tech got out of the jam.

Both teams loaded the bases in the sixth with no outs, but neither team was able to bring runners home.

Freshman Erica Tuck gave up all five of IPFW's runs and six in 2.2 innings of work, taking her second loss of the year.

IPFW's Miranda Kramer got the win, striking out eight while allowing two earned runs and a walk in her second complete game.

Floyd went 2-for-4 on the day with a run scored to lead the Golden Eagles. Chanelle and Brittney Spalding each picked up RBIs.

The Golden Eagles remain at home to host Belmont Thursday in a doubleheader at 1 p.m.