COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team will face three different teams over two days at the Purple and Gold Challenge hosted by Lipscomb. The softball team will take on UTEP, IPFW and Lipscomb Saturday and Sunday. In Tech's first day match-ups, the Golden Eagles will play IPFW at 11 a.m. and UTEP at 1:15 p.m. Sunday's challenge brings IPFW for a second time at noon before the Golden Eagles get a shot at host Lipscomb at 2:15 p.m.
Tech is just one of four teams in the Ohio Valley Conference to reach the seven-win mark, followed by Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State and UT Martin. In their last outing at the Frost Classic, the Golden Eagles outscored their opponents 17-8, finishing 3-2 at the classic and improving to 7-6 overall.
Tech freshman Madison Taylor leads the Golden Eagles with a .406 batting average and has batted in five runs this season. Senior Melody Christian, Tech's stolen base leader with an OVC second-best eight bases swiped, has powered in seven RBI on 18 hits for a team best .435 slugging percentage.
Senior Brittney Spalding hit the team's first home run against Missouri State in the top of the fourth inning.
Sophomore Taylor Ketchum has become Tech's go-to pitcher, with a 5-1 record and a 1.14 ERA in 43 innings pitched. Ketchum has only given up eight runs and thrown two one-hit games so far this season. Also on the staff is Claudia Harke and Erica Tuck who have each pitched 19 innings. Harke picked up her first win against Niagara at the Frost Classic.
IPFW: 0-2, The Golden Eagles and the Matodons met for the first time last season in a double-header played in Cookeville. IPFW won the first game 4-0 and the second 5-2. Erica Tuck took the loss in the second contest; Floyd and Christian were the Golden Eagles lone two runs.
UTEP: 1-1, The Miners and the Golden Eagles have split their series, first meeting in 2004. Tech lost the last contest in 2009, 5-2.
Lipscomb: 11-8, Despite the short distance seperating the Lady Bisons and the Golden Eagles, the two teams haven't paired-off since 2010. Tech dropped both ends of a double-header in Cookeville, 5-0 and 1-2.