By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
CLINTON, S.C. – Some timely hits for the Tennessee Tech softball team came through on Saturday afternoon as the Golden Eagles were able to take two games on the road to sweep Presbyterian College and create a three-game winning streak.
Tech (6-14) won the first game 8-5 in eight innings, then held on for a 5-4 victory in the second.
Taylor Waldrop earned her third win of the season, going the distance in the extra-inning affair as she walked four and struck out three while allowing five runs – four earned – on 11 hits.
With the game knotted at five through regulation, Tech pulled ahead in the eighth frame with three runs. With one down, Beth McCulley got things going with a double to center field, then Jessie Lowery put down a swinging bunt for a single. Sydney Love-Baker singled to short, loading the bases, then McCulley came home on a wild pitch. Raegan Sparks hit a sacrifice fly to left, driving in Lowery, then Bayli Cruse knocked in Love-Baker on a single to center field.
The Blue Hose countered with back-to-back singles to put runners on with none out, but Waldrop threw a strikeout, then coaxed a flyout to left and a grounder to short to end the contest.
Sparks led Tech at the plate in the contest with three RBI on a 2-for-3 effort, while Hallie Davis drove in two as she went 3-for-5. Sparks hit her sixth home run of the season, while Davis knocked out her second.
Meanwhile, in game two, Hughes picked up her second win of the season, coming on in relief of starter Leigh Ellen Thomas. Thomas threw the first two frames without yielding a run nor a hit, walking two and striking out two.
Hughes pitched the next five frames, allowing four runs – two earned – on eight hits. She walked one and struck out three.
Tech scored single runs in the first and second frames to jump to an early advantage. Cruse had an RBI single to second in the opening inning, then Gabby LaSala scored in the second as McCulley reached on an error at short.
Presbyterian tied the game up with two runs in the fourth, then took a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
Tech evened the game once more in the sixth as Hannah Richter scored on an error, then took the lead in the seventh as Cruse doubled in Sparks, then she came home on an error at short off of a LaSala grounder.
The Blue Hose made two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh, then had back-to-back hits to push a run across, then another single to put runners at first and second. Hughes was able to coax a grounder to third with LaSala getting the force out at the bag to end the game.
Tech returns to action on Tuesday as it hosts Rhode Island for a doubleheader, starting at 2 p.m.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information