Crucial week for Golden Eagles as they prepare for final OVC stretch
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennesee Tech softball team has been sidelined by weather more than any other Ohio Valley Conference team this season. While the Golden Eagles currently sit in the middle of the pack of the league standing, this week will prove crucial to getting into the post-season tournament. Tech opens the week at home, hosting a make-up doubleheader against Austin Peay on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a single game, non-conference tune-up against UT Chattanooga Wednesday night.
The Golden Eagles took their second three-game series of the season, claiming two-of-three games thanks to stellar defense by the infield to fend off a sixth inning comeback by the Bruins. Tech has collected a 7-5 conference record, placing the Golden Eagles second in the East division due to win percentage. Having postponed two doubleheaders, the Golden Eagles are roughly four games behind all other OVC teams.
Tech has powered its batting order, making small tweaks that have paid off. The Purple and Gold connected for 30 hits in last week's four games, including 12 in ther final game against Belmont. Sophomore Hannah Eldridge had three great outings for Tech, including a two-hit performance against #3 Tennessee where she hit a home run off one of the top pitchers in the country. Eldridge connected for three hits in the 7-4 victory over Belmont to clinch the series with three singles and three RBI in four at bats.
Austin Peay: 66-17, Tech swept the three-game series last season and haven't lost to the Lady Govs since 2003. The Golden Eagles won last years games in Clarksville 3-1, 6-5 and 5-3
UT Chattanooga: 4-7, UTC leads the series as the teams will be paired off for just the 12 time in program history. UTC has taken the last two meetings. The Golden Eagles last won in 2009, 3-1.
- Tech is 18-19 overall this season after taking the series against Belmont.
- As a team, Tech is hitting .269, posting 151 runs scored, 125 RBI and a .336 on-base percentage through 37 games. The Golden Eagles average 3.54 earned runs per game.
- The Golden Eagle pitching staff combines for a 2.13 conference ERA allowing 24 earned runs in 79.0 innings pitched in the OVC.
- Five Golden Eagles have hit home runs [Bennett (3), Eldridge (2), Hooper (2), Sakamoto (2), B. Spalding (3), C. Spalding (2), Gibbs, Taylor].
- Senior Melody Christian opened the season on a tear, connecting for at least one hit in each of her first 11 games of the season.
- Cortney Fry extended a streak of her own at ETSU, connecting for at least one hit in four straight games, including two hits in each of her last two outings at Eastern Kentucky.
- Three players have scored 15+ runs for the Golden Eagles, including Christian, with a team-high 26 runs and is the team's stolen bases leader.
- Christian is fourth in the OVC with 14 stolen bases on 17 attempts.
- Freshman Madison Taylor has a .329 batting average, collecting a multiple career-firsts during the opening weekend, including her three hits, four putouts, and 2 RBI.
- Five Golden Eagles have recorded triples, including newcomer Chelsea Burgess.
- Ketchum was named adidas® Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 11). Ketchum gave up just two hits in 10 innings of work.
- In a trip to the sunshine state, Tech ended the Under Armour Showcase 3-2, with key wins over Maine, LIU Brooklyn and Providence.
- The Golden Eagles finished the Eagle Round Robin hosted by Georgia Southern in February with a 2-2 record. The weekend was highlighted by a 3-1 victory over Akron as sophomore Taylor Ketchum threw a one-hitter Feb. 10.
- First year head coach Bonnie Bynum picked up her first win at Tennessee Tech after the team downed St. John's, 4-3, on Feb. 9. The Golden Eagles defeated St. John's thanks to a walk-off single by senior Chanelle Spalding, marking the first win against the Red Storm in program history and the first victory of the 2013 season.