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Softball to tangle with Morehead State in final home series of 2014

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech softball team will host Morehead State over the weekend in the final regular season series of the year, with the two teams locking up in a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CT, before closing out the set with a single game on Sunday, also starting at 1 p.m.  

The weekend promises to be one to remember with pre-game festivities scheduled for Sunday's affair for both Legends Weekend and Senior Day. A number of former Tech players will be honored before the start of Sunday's contest as well as seniors Chelsea Burgess, Kayla Floyd, and Kendall Hooper, who will be playing in front of the Golden Eagle faithful for the final time in their careers.

All three games of the series will be broadcast on the Golden Eagle Sports Network and OVC Digital Network. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.

Tennessee Tech (20-33, 12-12) enters the final weekend red hot after taking two-of-three against Eastern Kentucky on Apr. 26-27 for the Golden Eagles eighth win in the last 10 games to secure a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, hosted by the No. 1 team in the conference and set to begin on Wednesday, May 7.   

With the series deadlocked at a game apiece heading into Sunday's finale, TTU struck for three in the bottom of the fifth to erase a 2-0 deficit.

The Golden Eagles had collected just one hit over the first four frames against EKU's Leanna Pittsenbarger, who entered the game as one of the best pitcher's in the OVC with a miniscule 1.15 ERA after blanking Tech with a complete game, three-hit shutout in the series opener.  

TTU got to the Eastern Kentucky ace with an RBI single from Angi Sakamoto to cut the deficit to 2-1, before a two-out, two-run double by Hannah Eldridge put the Golden Eagles up 3-2.

Tech freshman Danielle Liberatore won both games in the series, upping the Petone, Ill. native's conference win streak to seven straight. Liberatore leads the Golden Eagles with 12 wins, a 3.26 ERA, and 111 strikeouts, while positing a stellar 9-2 conference mark with an impressive 2.18 ERA.

Offensively, Tech features a trio of players hitting above .290 in senior Kendall Hooper (.296), junior Angi Sakamoto (.292), and sophomore Madison Taylor (.291). All three are hitting above .300 in conference play as well, with Hooper's .338 mark leading the charge. The 5-foot-6 first baseman is tied with Angi Sakamoto for the team lead with five round trippers, while Sakamoto's 29 RBI are also a Golden Eagle best.

Morehead State (15-31-1, 9-13) comes to Cookeville in the OVC playoff picture, sitting in eighth place in the conference, two and a half games ahead of Austin Peay for the coveted final spot in the postseason tournament.

The Eagles have are coming off a mid-week doubleheader on Wednesday in which the Morehead split a non-conference twin bill with Northern Kentucky. Freshman Karly Thompson hit a pair of two-run home runs to set the pace for the Eagles, driving in five runs as well.

Tech leads the all-time series, 58-32, with Morehead, which includes a split of last year's doubleheader in Kentucky. Sophomore Cortney Fry drove in two runs in the Golden Eagle victory, helping lead TTU to a 6-5 win in the double dip finale.

Admission to all Golden Eagle home regular season games is free.