Tech softball splits doubleheader against Belmont


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team split Saturday's doubleheader against Belmont at Tech Softball Stadium. Belmont upended the Golden Eagles 4-1 in the first game before Tech held off a comeback in the second game to defeat the Bruins 3-2. 

Tech (17-19, 6-5) relied heavily on its infield defense in both games to stop two one-inning spree by the Bruins, as Belmont rallied in the sixth inning in both games. Claudia Harke (4-6) held Belmont to four hits through five innings before the Bruins exploded in the sixth, scoring four runs. Head coach Bonnie Bynum relieved the right hander by bringing in Erica Tuck, to stifle the Bruins comeback. 

Tuck only gave up two hits in her 1.1 innings of work thanks to a strong showing by Tech's infield. Sophomore short stop Hannah Eldridge tossed five putouts and second baseman Cortney Fry contributed five of her own. 

The Golden Eagles scored its lone run in the first inning as freshman Olivia Bennett knocked a dinger over the left field wall for her third homerun of the season. 

In the second game, Taylor Ketchum (12-7) took the circle and fended-off any spark of Bruin offense for five innings. Belmont again came alive in the sixth, scoring two runs. The Golden Eagles held a 3-2 advantage thanks to scoring one run in three straight-innings. 

Tech scored its first run in the third inning when Angi Sakamoto doubled up the middle. Senior Melody Christian placed a bunt to advance Sakamoto but beat the throw, to put runners on first and third for the Golden Eagles. Eldridge singled sending Sakamoto home for Tech to light up the scoreboard first. 

The Golden Eagles second run came in the next inning when Sakamoto reached on a fielder's choice, and the Spalding sisters each gained two bases. Brittney Spalding crossed home plate to give Tech a 2-0 edge. 

Tech's winning run came in the fifth inning when a series of Bruin errors allowed Bennett to cross home plate. 

The Golden Eagles send the series decision to Sunday when they host Belmont in the final game of the series. The first pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.