Softball opens 2013 campaign at Eagle Round Robin

 

Tournament Central

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team opens the 2013 campaign this weekend as the Golden Eagles will play four games at the Eagle Round Robin, hosted by defending Southern Conference Champion Georgia Southern University.

Tech will kick off its season on Saturday against Akron at 9 a.m. CT at Eagle Field, and will then face St. John's later that morning at 11 a.m. The Golden Eagles will battle Akron again on Sunday at 8:30 a.m., before a contest with host Georgia Southern at 12:30 p.m.

Led by first-year head coach Bonnie Bynum, Tech is looking to build upon last season's 27-32 record and get back to the OVC Championship. The team's offense returns its top five hitters with the trio of Chanelle Spalding, Melody Christian and Brittney Spalding entering their senior season. Chanelle Spalding hit .287 with 48 hits while Brittney Spalding drove in 21 runs. Christian posted a .308 slugging percentage and led the Golden Eagles with 22 stolen bases.

Tech will take on former OVC member Akron for the first time in program history. A member of the Mid-American Conference, the Zips enter the season off a 24-29-1 record, but ended last season on a four-game winning streak. Akron returns eight starters, and three starting pitchers. Akron is coached by Julie Jones who is in her seventh season.

The Golden Eagles will also go up against the Red Storm for the first time. St. John's, a member of the Big East Conference, finished last season with a 21-30 record. The Red Storm return their top pitcher, junior Ashley Beza, who has already entered St. John's record books with 40 appearances last season.

This will be the 12th time the Golden Eagles face Georgia Southern, a power in the Southern Conference. Tech holds a 7-4 edge over the Eagles, with their last meeting occuring in 2008 when the Golden Eagles flew away with a 5-4 victory. Georgia Southern is coming off of a SoCon championship and returns the league's top pitching staff which is led by SoCon Preseason Pitcher of the Year and defending SoCon Pitcher of the Year Sarah Purvis.

Results will be posted each day on TTUsports.com.