By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
AUBURN, Ala. – The first day of the Plainsman Invitational may not have gone exactly the way the Tennessee Tech softball team had planned, but despite two losses, the Golden Eagles did have positives during their first day of action.
Tech (0-2) saw Wichita State hold off a late rally for a 6-4 victory in the first game, then No. 13-ranked Auburn blanked the Golden Eagles 3-0 in the second game.
Saturday's slate will see Tech take on Marshall at 9 a.m., then get a rematch with Auburn at 2 p.m., but the schedule is tentative with a rainy forecast ahead for the Auburn area over the next few days. Updates will be posted on TTUsports.com and on the team's Twitter feed -- @TTU_softball.
One of last season's concerns was offense, but the Golden Eagles came through with some timely hitting with the bases loaded from senior catcher Bayli Cruse, who knocked in two runs in the sixth inning against the Shockers. Gabby LaSala had already walked home on a bases-loaded walk to Hallie Davis, then Cruse delivered the blow with a single down the right field line, driving in Beth McCulley and Hannah Richter. Davis advanced to third, then scored on a throwing error by the Shockers' second baseman.
Leigh Ellen Thomas worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs – four earned – on three hits, taking the loss. Waldrop pitched the final inning and two-thirds, allowing one run on two hits.
In addition to Cruse's 2-for-3 performance, Taylor Thomas collected Tech's first hit of the season, while Richter was 1-for-1 and LaSala went 1-for-3.
Against the Tigers, Waldrop had a solid outing, holding Auburn to three runs – two earned – on nine hits in four complete frames of work. Kayla Hughes came on in relief, yielding three hits in two innings.
Kaylee Carlson held Tech to two hits in the complete game effort, striking out six. Hughes was the only Golden Eagle to get hits in the Auburn game, collecting two hits in the contest.
K.K. Crocker and Taylon Snow each went 3-for-4 for the Tigers, while Crocker drove in two runs.
The Plainsman Invitational is scheduled to run through Sunday, weather permitting.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information