By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The tournaments are out of the way. Now it's time for the real season to begin.
After a month of long weekends against teams from all over the country, the Tennessee Tech softball team will make its case for another Ohio Valley Conference championship as the Golden Eagles open league play this weekend at Southeast Missouri.
Weather forced the scheduled Saturday games a day early as the two teams take the field on Friday.
The Redhawks, however, are no easy foe to open the conference slate against. SEMO enters Friday's two-game set with a 16-10 record, including a 3-1 mark in Cape Girardeau.
Mykaela Arellanes leads the Redhawks in batting with a .395 average, while Abby Tillotson leads SEMO with 23 RBI. Tillotson and Ashley Ellis have both hit five home runs for the season.
In the circle, Madeline Krumrey has SEMO's best record, coming into the series with an 8-3 mark with a 4.24 earned run average as she has walked 24 and struck out 43. Batters are hitting .288 against her. Haley Thogmartin has a team-low 2.78 ERA with a 5-3 record, walking nine and striking out 26.
Tech will start its doubleheader against the Redhawks at noon on Friday.
The Golden Eagles' other foe this weekend, UT Martin, is still slated for a Sunday tilt, though weather could play an impact over the next couple of days.
The Skyhawks bring a 14-16 record into the weekend, a 3-2 mark at home.
UTM has a trio of 15-RBI producers in Jodie Duncan (.359), Aeron Smith (.333) and Alli Fulcher (.314), with Fulcher leading the Skyhawks in home runs with five.
In the circle, Caitlin Karo (2.02 ERA) has an 8-5 record with 16 walks and 26 strikeouts, while Hannah Ridolfi (2.19 ERA) has a 6-8 record and 32 walks and 32 strikeouts.
Tech enters OVC play with a 9-17 record, 3-8 on the road. Hallie Davis leads the Golden Eagles in batting with a .360 average and 12 RBI. Raegan Sparks has a team-high six home runs, while Bayli Cruse has a team-high 20 RBI.