Tech sweeps pair on first day of Frost Classic
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Sophomore Taylor Ketchum threw her second one-hitter of the young season to help the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles score an 8-0, five-inning win over Northern Kentucky Friday morning at the Frost Classic hosted by UT Chattanooga.
Tech also downed Niagara, 7-4, in its second contest of the day, as Claudia Harke (2-2) notched her second win of the season and Ketchum earned her first save of the year.
With the wins, the Golden Eagles improved to 6-4.
In her fifth outing of the season, Ketchum (4-1) limited NKU to just one hit over five innings, while striking out seven. After giving up a bunt single on the first pitch of the second inning and a walk in the third, Ketchum retired six of the final seven batters she faced.
Senior center fielder Melody Christian opened the scoring by ripping a two-run single up the middle in the bottom of the second for a 2-0 lead. Christian finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI, as she added another RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
Junior catcher Kendall Hooper also delivered a two-run single for Tech with a walk-off single up the middle in the fifth. Sophomore Hannah Eldridge and freshman Cortney Fry each went 2-for-2 with Fry adding an RBI, while Brittney Spalding had Tech's only extra base hit, a double, and scored one run.
Eldridge had a big second game for the Purple and Gold. The shortstop went 2-for-3 against Niagara and scored two runs. Five other Golden Eagles scored, with three runs coming in the bottom of the sixth.
Niagara went on the scoreboard first with a single run in the top of the first inning, and scored two runs in the third off sophomore starter Erica Tuck. Harke came in and held Niagara to one more run, working into the seventh, while the Golden Eagle bats turned six hits into seven runs in the fourth and sixth innings.
Holding a 7-3 lead, the Golden Eagles ran into trouble in the top of the seventh as the Purple Eagles opened the frame with two singles, bringing the tying run to the plate. Ketchum took the circle and got the save, yielding a walk to load the bases before setting down the next three batters, including a clutch strikeout.
Tech returns to the field Saturday at the Frost Classic. The Golden Eagles will take on Miami (Ohio) at 10 a.m. CT and Missouri State at 2:30 p.m. CT.