By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
RICHMOND, Ky. – Ohio Valley Conference play had a bumpy start for the Tennessee Tech softball team on Friday as the Golden Eagles put plenty of hits on the board, but the explosive Eastern Kentucky offense put up run after run.
The Colonels won game one 9-4, bolstered by a six-run fourth inning, then completed the sweep with a five-inning 13-3 defeat in the nightcap.
Tech falls to 10-13, 0-2 in the Ohio Valley, while EKU improves to 15-10, 2-0 in the league. Tech continues the weekend's road trip with a jaunt over to Morehead State on Sunday, with first pitch slated for 11 a.m. Central.
The Golden Eagles collected nine hits in the first game, including a 4-for-4 effort at the plate for Beth McCulley. The performance set a career-high for the junior in hits, doubles (2) and total bases (6). McCulley also went 2-for-3 in the second game to go 6-for-7 on the day.
Following an RBI double by EKU's Sammi Miller in the first, Tech tied the game in the second as Gabby LaSala led off the second inning with a solo home run. The Golden Eagles extended their lead to 2-1 as Sydney Love-Baker drove in McCulley with a single up the middle.
However, in the fourth, the Colonels scored six runs on five hits, putting the Golden Eagles in a 7-2 deficit. Tech quickly answered back with two runs in the fifth as Jessie Lowery collected an RBI single, scoring Hannah Richter, then Love-Baker added her second RBI of the game with a single down the left field line to score McCulley once again.
EKU added two runs in the sixth as Destinee Lizzmore led off with a homer to center field, then Miller scored on an Emily Corbitt single to left.
Alyssa Arden took the loss, falling to 6-5 on the season, as she allowed seven runs – all earned – on eight hits in three and two-thirds innings as she walked three and struck out none. Haeli Bryson came on in relief, throwing the final two and a third, yielding two runs on three hits and one walk.
Bethany Todd picked up her third win of the season, allowing four runs – three earned – on six hits, walking none and striking out two.
In game two, Tech faced a 2-0 deficit going into the third inning until Lowery drove in McCulley with a double to right.
But the Colonels responded with five runs on two hits in the third. The Golden Eagles added a single run in the fourth as Alexis Trimiar drove in LaSala with a double to center field.
EKU then put a six spot on the board in the fourth inning, collecting seven hits. Tech added one last run in the top of the fifth as Raleigh Lewis drove in McCulley with a single to left, but it wasn't enough to stave off the run rule.
Kayla Hughes (2-3) took the loss, allowing seven runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings as she walked five and struck out none. Bryson pitched the next inning and a third, allowing five runs on five hits, then Callie Piper threw the final third of a frame, allowing one run on two hits.
Mollie Paulick improved her record to 6-5, allowing two runs on six hits as she walked two and struck out five in four innings of work.