By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After starting Ohio Valley Conference play over the past weekend, the Tennessee Tech softball team will take a quick breather from the league slate as it heads to Nashville to take on Lipscomb on Wednesday.
The game is a single contest, scheduled for a 5 p.m. start at the Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium.
Lipscomb enters the game with a 20-11-1 record, including a 5-2 mark at home. The Lady Bisons have dropped four of their last five games, including a 1-2 run this past weekend at Atlantic Sun Conference foe Liberty, as well as a 5-0 loss to Texas and a 9-7 loss to Virginia Tech.
The Lady Bisons also took two games from Eastern Illinois – one of Tech's foes this upcoming weekend as the Golden Eagles resume OVC play. Lipscomb won the games 5-3 and 3-2 as part of the school's Purple/Gold Challenge during the first weekend of March.
Jordan Fortel leads Lipscomb at the plate in average with a .410 clip, collecting 16 extra-base hits, including nine doubles, two triples and three home runs. Hannah Devault (.296) has 17 extra-base hits with 11 doubles and six home runs. The duo has combined for 56 of Lipscomb's 131 RBI.
The Lady Bisons also like to antagonize defenses on the base paths, stealing 56 bases on 63 attempts. Peyton Ward has swiped 16 of 17, while Graysen Gladden is 10-for-12.
All batters combined, the Lady Bisons are hitting .273, outscoring their opponents 162-122.
In the circle, Lipscomb has a pair of eight-game winners in Mandy Jordan and Katie Turner. Jordan has a 2.47 ERA in 15 appearances and 90 2/3 innings of work, walking 29 and striking out 96, while Turner has a 3.06 ERA in 12 appearances and 50 1/3 innings, walking 17 and striking out 42.
As a team, Lipscomb has a 3.45 ERA and opponents are hitting .232 against them.
Tech, meanwhile, comes into the contest with a 12-13 record, including a 5-6 record on the road. The Golden Eagles went 2-4 last week with a pair of defeats at Samford and Eastern Kentucky, then won two games at Morehead State on Sunday.
Beth McCulley leads Tech at the plate in batting average with a .440 clip. Last week, she had a 6-for-7 performance at Samford and finished with a .591 average for the week as she was 13-for-22 with 10 runs scored, 19 total bases, three doubles, her first home run of the season and two RBI.
Sydney Love-Baker drove in 12 runs for the Golden Eagles last week and scored five times as she hit a three-run home run against Morehead State and a grand slam against Samford. She ended the week with 16 total bases, a double, a triple and two home runs. For the year, she is hitting .313 with a team-high 23 RBI, eight home runs and 52 total bases.
Gabby LaSala (.282) also had a strong week, driving in seven runs of her 20 on the season with four home runs in the six contests.
As a team, Tech is hitting .260, outscored by its opponents by a slim 131-120 margin.
In the circle, Alyssa Arden has a 7-5 record in 14 appearances and 76 innings of work, walking 37 and striking out 60. As a team, Tech has a 4.63 ERA with opponents hitting .273.