COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech softball team dropped a pair of games at the Tech Softball Field to OVC-leading UT Martin on Saturday afternoon. Tech scored first in game one but was unable to keep UTM at bay as the Golden Eagles fell, 9-1, before a seventh inning rally came up just short in game two with Tech falling, 3-2.
The Golden Eagles moved to 15-23 overall, 4-8 OVC this season, and UTM improved to 29-6 overall, 10-2 OVC for the 2010 campaign.
UT Martin 9, Tech 1
With one down in the second inning, Lacie Coquerille hit a ball through the left side of the infield for a single. Holly Thomas came to bat next and took a walk that put Golden Eagles on first and second. A wild pitch by UTM starter Paij Lintz moved both runners up a base, which set up TTU’s first run.
Samantha Everett came to the plate with two runners in scoring position and worked the count to 2-2. Following a meeting with head coach Tory Acheson, the Golden Eagles attempted a squeeze play, but with the pitch well out of the strike zone, Everett could not even attempt to put the ball into play. Coquerille was halfway down the third base line as the pitch arrived to the catcher and got caught in a rundown, but the junior forced three throws by UTM in an attempt to chase her down, the third of which was mishandled by the Skyhawk first baseman, allowing Coquerille to score the first run of the game.
Thomas started the game in the circle for Tech and was sharp early on. After a leadoff single by the Skyhaws, Thomas sat down nine of the next 10 UTM batters before the potent UT Martin offense came to life in the fourth inning.
The Skyhawks scored two runs in the fourth and seven in the fifth to open up a 9-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth.
Needing at least one run to avoid the eight-run rule, the Golden Eagles put two runners on base but could not drive them home as the Skyhawks earned a five-inning victory in game one of the doubleheader.
Lintz improved to 13-3 overall this season with the win, and Thomas was charged with the loss as she dropped to 8-11 this season.
Coquerille led the TTU offense, finishing 1-for-2 with a run scored. Whitney Cummings, Melody Christian and Claudia Harke also recorded hits for Tech.
UT Martin 3, Tech 2
The Skyhawks scored first in the second game of the day, putting a solo run on the board in the top of the first inning. Tech starter Maddie Schmissrauter stifled the UTM bats for much of the rest of the game until the Skyhawks tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh.
The Tech offense could not find a way to help out Schmissrauter until the Golden Eagles broke through in the bottom of the seventh inning. TTU put together a two-out rally started by an infield single by Erin Cutlip. Christian followed with an infield single of her own that put two on with two out.
Chanelle Spalding came to the plate and drilled the first pitch she saw to the center field fence for a double that scored both baserunners and brought TTU to within one run, 3-2. However, UTM brought in their game one starter, Paij Lintz, who recorded a strikeout to finish the game and add to her UT Martin career saves record.
The Golden Eagles finished the game with seven hits off of UTM starter Kate Vanderham, who earned her 10th victory of the season for UT Martin.
Schmissrauter went the distance for TTU, allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out six. The junior did not allow a walk as she recorded her seventh complete game of the season.
Kaleigh Gates and Spalding led the way for Tech at the plate. Gates finished 2-for-2 with a walk and a pair of singles, while Spalding was 2-for-4 with a single, double and two RBIs. Christian went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Cutlip finished the game 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Tech and UT Martin return to the Tech Softball Field on Sunday for the third game of their three-game series beginning at 1 p.m. Admission is free.