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Softball matches up with UT Chattanooga in non-conference doubleheader

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech softball team takes a break in its Ohio Valley Conference slate as the Golden Eagles (10-26) travel to UT Chattanooga (19-14) for a doubleheader on Wednesday, Apr. 2. The opener is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. CT, while the second game is slated to kickoff at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Tech enters the matchup having just dropped two out of three in this past weekend's set with Belmont. The Golden Eagles bid at a comeback fell short in the opener on Saturday after Tech managed to cut a 4-2 deficit into a one-run game with a run in the sixth, but couldn't seem to find a way to square the tilt.

TTU bounced back behind a big first inning in the opener of Sunday's doubleheader, putting up a six-spot in the initial frame to coast to a 6-3 victory. The Golden Eagles were tripped up in the finale, 10-2.

Senior Chelsea Burgess had a big series, going 4-for-9 (.444) with four RBI's, helping the Golden Eagles jump out to quick starts with a two-run double to break a scoreless tie in the first inning on Saturday, before knocking in two with a triple in the first inning of Sunday's opener. The Dunlap, Tenn. native has now pulled into a tie with sophomore Madison Taylor for second on Tech with 15 RBI's, with the two trailing junior Angi Sakamoto's 16 for the team lead.

Taylor continues to lead the club in batting average, now hitting .288, while the 5-2 outfielder's 30 hits and 14 extra-base hits are also tops on Tech. Taylor and Burgess have set the Golden Eagle bar with 19 runs scored, while Burgess and Sakamoto's four home runs are the most on the team.

On the rubber, freshman Danielle Liberatore leads the team with five victories on the season after picking up a win on Sunday behind a complete game effort. The southpaw from Peotone, Ill. scattered seven hits and allowed three runs, punching out four Bruins as well.

Chattanooga heads into the double dip having won five of the past six, including taking two out of three this past weekend in a pivotal Southern Conference battle with UNC Greensboro. The Lady Mocs 6-2 conference mark currently put them in second place, trailing Georgia Southern by a game and a half.

UTC posts a team batting average of .267, a mark that puts them third in the conference. Sophomore Anyssa Robles leads the Lady Mocs in both batting average at .344 and runs batted in with 24, while fellow sophomore Alyssa Taylor's five long balls have led the Chattanooga charge.

Inside the circle, UTC possesses a formidable 1-2 punch of sophomore Katie Henderson and junior Taylor Deason. Henderson leads the Lady Mocs in both wins with 10 and strikeouts with 88, tossing 94 innings on the year and posting a 2.31 ERA. As far as Deason is concerned, the 5-8 righty out of Clarksville, Tenn. leads the conference with a miniscule 0.99 ERA, appearing in a team high 24 appearances.

Chattanooga leads the all-time series, 8-4, including a 2-1 victory last April in Cookeville. The two teams traded runs in the first inning, before the Lady Mocs broke the 1-1 tie with a third inning RBI single off the bat of Anyssa Robles.

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