Rain washes red-hot Golden Eagles out of OVC Tournament

Rain washes red-hot Golden Eagles out of OVC Tournament

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Despite a huge win in the morning to eliminate the top-seeded team, Tennessee Tech was denied a chance to continue its run in the Ohio Valley Conference Softball Tournament when relentless rain showers forced league officials to cancel the consolation bracket of the eight-team tournament and wrap up the year for the Golden Eagles.

Due to the heavy rainfall, the consolation side of the bracket of the tournament was canceled Saturday afternoon, ending Tech’s season. Murray State and SIU Edwardsville will play for the conference championship on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT, weather permitting.

Junior outfielder Angi Sakamoto (in photo above), whose seven RBI in three games topped the entire tournament field, was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts which included two home runs. 

Tech and top-seeded Jacksonville State played into the top of the sixth on Friday, the only action all day out of four scheduled games due to the rain. The two teams resumed to play at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the Golden Eagles trailing 3-0 in the sixth, but coach Bonnie Bynum's team rallied for six runs in the bottom of the sixth to capture the thrilling win, 6-3, over the No. 1 team in the tourney. Sakamoto's three-run home run proved to be the game-winner. She also delived a two-run single on Thursday that drove home the winning runs in Tech's victory over UT Martin.

Saturday’s second tilt, No. 3 Eastern Illinois against No. 5 Eastern Kentucky, made it into the bottom of the second, but rain once again halted play making the contest unable to continue. Tech was originally scheduled to take on the EIU-EKU winner at 3:30 p.m. CT.

TTU ends the 2014 season with a 25-34 overall record, closing out the year on a remarkable tear after going 13-3 in the club’s final 16 affairs.

Four Golden Eagles posted at least a .400 batting average in the tournament with sophomore Cortney Fry (.500), sophomore Madison Taylor (.444), junior Hannah Eldridge (.444), and freshman Alyssa Richards (.429) doing the honors. Fry and junior Angi Sakamoto each popped two home runs in the tourney.

Sakamoto ends the year with team-leading eight long balls and 38 runs batted in, while Madison Taylor set the Tech batting bar with an even .300 clip.

Inside the circle, freshman Danielle Liberatore led the Golden Eagles in 2014 with 15 wins, a 2.89 ERA, and 143 strikeouts. The Peotone, Ill. native logged all 20 innings in the tournament for TTU, allowing only four earned runs and striking out an impressive 24 while posting a 1.40 ERA. She ends the year winning 10 of her final 11 starts against OVC teams including two in the tournament.