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Tech tripped up 4-3 in opener with Belmont

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Tennessee Tech softball team dropped a nail-biter on Saturday, falling 4-3 to Belmont University amidst an overcast and frigid afternoon in Nashville.

The Golden Eagles (9-25, 1-7) raced out to a quick start, plating two in the top of the first inning behind a two-out, two-run double off the bat of senior Chelsea Burgess. After the first two Tech hitters were retired to begin the frame, junior Hannah Eldridge reached on an infield single which was followed by a Kendall Hooper walk to put runners on first and second. Up stepped Burgess who delivered with a double to center, scoring both Eldridge and Hooper to take the early 2-0 advantage.

Belmont (8-19, 2-5) responded in the bottom half of the first, scoring a pair of runs to deadlock the score at 2-2. After a leadoff triple by senior Ashley Hammer, junior Kirbie Ferrell walked and stole second to give the Bruins a scoring threat with runners at second and third and none down. Tech's Hannah Weaver (3-13) fanned sophomore Jessica Wilson for the first out of the inning, but behind a two-run single from Kat Hollingsworth, Belmont pulled even.

Weaver bounced back after the tough first inning, coming back to throw up zeros in the second and third, before running into trouble in the fourth. With two outs and a runner on, Belmont's Chelsey Deloney smacked a two-run round tripper to left field, pushing the Bruins to a 4-2 lead.

Trailing for the first time in the contest, the Golden Eagles chopped the deficit in a half with a run in the top of the sixth. Burgess started the inning with a single to left for her second knock of the game, before coming all the way around just one batter later as freshman Alyssa Richards lined a double into right center to score Burgess from first.

Tech couldn't find a way to bring home the tying run with pinch runner Kayla Floyd on at second with no one out after a grounder to third, a caught stealing, and a roller to short ended the Golden Eagle threat. The opportunity to would prove to be TTU's final look at the game, as Tech went down 1-2-3 in the seventh to drop the one-run affair.

Belmont's Taylor Moon (4-5) went the distance to pick up the victory, surrendering three earned on five hits, while walking four and striking out four as well.

Despite a strong performance, Hannah Weaver was tagged with the loss, also hurling a complete game while allowing four earned on six hits, walking just one and punching out two Bruins.

After inclement weather pushed Saturday's doubleheader to just one game, Sunday turns into a doubleheader with game one scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. CT, while the second tilt is slated to start at 2 p.m. CT.