CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Whitney Cummings blasted her first
career grand slam in the fifth inning to keep the Tennessee Tech
softball team in first place by beating Southeast Missouri 6-1. The
freshman slugger now has five home runs and 23 RBIs on the year,
ranking first on the team in each.
The Golden Eagles (19-16, 7-1 OVC) were held scoreless through the first four innings until Redhawk pitcher Giana Zimmerman (7-4) walked three Tech batters in the fifth, loading the bases for Cummings. With two outs, Cummings hit her fifth career home run over the wall to put the Golden Eagles on top 4-1.
Tech scored twice more in the seventh when a lead-off double by junior Kimmie White and a single by Cummings setup sophomore Katie Betry for a two run single.
The only run of the day for Southeast Missouri came off the bat of Alex Ramirez on a solo home run in the fourth.
Sophomore Maddie Schmissrauter (10-8) started the game for Tech, throwing three strikeouts in her 2.1 innings of work. Coming in in relief, freshman Holly Thomas shut down the Redhawk bats, not allowing a single ball to reach the outfield in the last three innings.
Thomas got the win on her 19th birthday, improving her record to 9-8. She also struck out three, giving up just one run in 4.2 innings on the hill.
Tech is now 7-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference standings after being picked to finish second in the preseason polls.
Since OVC play began, Cummings has been unstoppable, hitting .442 with four doubles, four home runs, and 12 RBIs. She has scored ten runs on her 19 hits in the 13 game span and is on a 14 game hitting streak.
In the conference, Cummings ranks among the top five in nearly every offensive category including: hits (T-1st), RBIs (T-4th), doubles (1st), home runs (T-5th), total bases (2nd), plate appearances (2nd), and at-bats (1st).
Schmissrauter has been just as impressive on the defensive side, winning six consecutive games. She has a 1.11 ERA with 48 strikeouts since March 15.
The Golden Eagles return home now to prepare for a 10 game homestand beginning on March 31 when they will host Texas-El Paso at 4 p.m. From there, they will take on Western Kentucky before returning to OVC action on April 4 against Morehead State.