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February 28, 2009

Golden Eagles down Sacred Heart, lose in extra frames to Missouri State

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- It all balanced out in the end.

The Tennessee Tech softball team was scheduled for 14 innings Friday in its first day at the Frost Classic, and that's exactly what coach Tory Acheson's team played, but not in the conventional manner.

The Golden Eagles (6-10) handed Acheson his 699th career coaching victory in their first game of the day, a 9-0 victory over Sacred Heart in just five innings. In the second game, Tech played nine innings before dropping a 4-0 decision to Missouri State.

Cassidy Skeen drove in three runs, and both Katie Betry and Whitney Cummings had two RBI to pace Tech's 10-hit attack in making short work of Sacred Heart (0-5) in the team's first game of the Frost Classic. Maddie Schmissrauter allowed just two hits and struck out seven to earn the win in the circle.

Tech scored two in the first inning with RBI doubles by Cummings and Holly Thomas. The lead went to 6-0 in the second as the Golden Eagles added four runs on three hits and two Pioneer errors. Skeenknocked in the first run, a walk to Cummings plated the second run, and Betry capped the rally with a two-run single.

Tech's final runs came in the three-run third on four hits and another Sacred Heart error. Skeen singled home Schmissrauter and Everett, who had led off with back-to-back singles. A double by Coquerille and an error sent Skeen home to make it 9-0.

Missouri State (7-5) scored four runs in the top of the ninth to spoil a sensational pitching effort by Thomas and deny Acheson his 800th victory. Thomas worked 8.1 innings and allowed only three hits, walking four and striking out eight Bear batters.

The Golden Eagles had plenty of chances to win it, but never found the clutch hit against Lauren McGinley. She pitched all nine innigs to earn the win, allowing just four hits while walking three and getting two Ks.

Tech had two hits in the second, but the inning ended with a double play. IN the bottom of the fourth, the Golden Eagles stranded two runner. Tech also left runners aboard in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

The Golden Eagles had a chance to win it in the bottom of the eighth with two runners aboard, but the Bears got out of the jam when Katie Betry's line drive was caught.

In the decisive Missouri State ninth, the Bears had runners at the corners after Jen Carr was placed at second, moved to thrd on a wild pitch and Jessie Smith walked. A sacrifice fly to left by Ashley Knehans made it 1-0. After Smith moved to third on a stolen base and wild pitch, Taylor Farley's single made it 2-0.

Senior Kristina Hortert relieved Thomas in the circle for the Golden Eagles, and the first batter, Jena Schwark, greeted her with a two-run home run to make it 4-0. Hortert got the next two hitters on strikes.

The Bears doubled off the Golden Eagles' runner in the bottom of the ninth, erasing any hopes for a Tech comeback.

On Saturday, Tech is slated to meet Valparaiso at 10 a.m. and Rhode Island at 12:30 p.m. in the main softball stadium.Golden Eagle fans can follow the action via live stats at the links below: