By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
BOONE, N.C. – In both games Saturday, the Tennessee Tech softball team struck to take the lead on Appalachian State, but the homestanding Mountaineers had the last laugh, rallying in both contests to hand Tech a 3-2 defeat in game one and a 10-8 loss in the nightcap.
Tech (3-13) will make the trek back to Cookeville on Saturday night, then will try to take a pair of games against Samford on Sunday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m., to try to open the home slate on a high note.
In the first game, Tech starter Taylor Waldrop kept Appalachian State hitless into the fifth inning, yielding the first run in the third on an error.
The Golden Eagles' lead held until the sixth inning as Jenny Dodd hit a two-run go-ahead homer for the 3-2 lead that ASU didn't relinquish.
Waldrop worked all six frames for the Golden Eagles, allowing three runs – two earned – on three hits as she walked three and struck out four.
Sparks led Tech at the plate as she went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
In the second game, the Mountaineers jumped on Tech starter Kayla Hughes early, striking for four runs in the bottom of the first, then two more in the second.
However, the Golden Eagles weren't going away quietly. Tech added a single run in the second as Callen Griffin hit a solo home run.
Trailing 6-1 in the top of the third, Tech dropped a six-spot on the scoreboard to take a 7-6 lead. With one down, Jessie Lowery and Love-Baker hit back-to-back singles, then Sparks took a walk to load the bases. Bayli Cruse lined a single up the middle, plating the two lead runners, then Griffin took a walk to put runners at first and second.
Ashley McGowan reached on an error at short to load the bases, then Alyssa Herlocker pushed a single through the right side to drive in Cruse. Gabby LaSala provided a two-run hit up the middle, bringing McGowan and Griffin home, then Leigh Ellen Thomas picked up an RBI single to drive in Herlocker to end the inning's scoring.
Tech was able to add one more run in the seventh as Sparks scored on a passed ball.
However, it wasn't enough as the Mountaineers posted two runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to pull ahead and gain some insurance with a Dodd homer in the fourth and an Alisha Josey two-run shot in the fifth.
Hughes worked all six innings for Tech, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits, walking five and striking out two.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information