Softball sweeps SIUE on Senior Day Sunday

Brittney Spalding (photo by Rob Schabert)
Brittney Spalding (photo by Rob Schabert)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team got one step closer to the OVC Tournament by winning a pair of Senior Day games over SIU Edwardsville by scores of 7-1 and 2-0 on Sunday.

The Golden Eagles (20-24, 14-11 OVC) remain in sixth place in the OVC standings, but gained ground on Sunday as the final standings are determined based on percentages.

Tech put runners on base every inning in game one, providing plenty of offensive support for senior pitcher Holly Thomas.

SIU Edwardsville (19-26, 10-13 OVC) scored first, putting a run on the board in the second inning off of an RBI single by Taylor Tooley.

The Godlen Eagles came storming back in the third, batting throught the lineup while scoring six runs with two outs. With runners on second and third, junior Brittney Spalding doubled down the left-field line to score senior Brooke Basten. SIUE pitcher Amanda Lambrecht then walked four and hit a batter, all on 3-2 counts, to give Tech four runs. After a pitching change, Basten hit an infield single that allowed Cassie Garret to score and give Tech the 6-1 lead.

Tech tacked on another run in the sixth as Kendall Hooper opened the frame with a triple down the right-field line. Chanelle Spalding then singled to score her from third and give the Golden Eagles the 7-1 victory.

Thomas earned the win, her second in as many days, striking out four in her 18th complete game of the year.

Lambrecht took the loss, allowing six earned runs, five walks and five hits in her 2.2 innings of work. Rebecca Gray came in in relief, giving up a run and six hits in 3.1 innings.

Game two turned out to be a stark contrast to the morning game, as Tech mustered just two hits and two runs. That's all Tech freshman pitcher Taylor Ketchum needed, however, as she pitched her first career shuout.

The Golden Eagles struck first as Melody Christian worked her way around the bases in the first. After reaching on a single and stealing second, Christian came in to score on an RBI single by Hooper.

Christian was hit in the head by a pitch to open the third, and, after stealing second, advanced to third on a throwing error by the Cougar catcher. She then came in to score on a double steal as Tyler Templet took second.

SIUE managed two runners in the top of the fifth, but left them stranded as Ketchum forced an infield groundout to get out of the inning. Ketchum struck out four and gave up just four hits in her complete-game outing, picking up her third win of the year.

Gray suffered the loss for the Cougars, allowing two earned runs and one walk while striking out a pair.

Kendall Hooper led the Golden Eagles on the day, going 3-for-6 with an RBI. Melody Christian scored both runs in the second game and hit 2-for-4.

Tech is scheduled to host a pair of non-conference doubleheaders this week, starting with a twinbill against East Tennessee State on Tuesday.