COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Cumberland University will make the short trip from Lebanon to Cookeville on Thursday as the Tennessee Tech softball team will play the Bulldogs in a doubleheader at the Tech Softball Field. Game one of the twinbill will mark the first time that the two teams have played since 1991.
The Golden Eagles will enter Thursday's contests with an 18-26 record, while Cumberland – a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics – will sport a 17-24 mark.
Coming off a loss to nationally-ranked Tennessee on Tuesday, the Golden Eagles will look to turn things around against a team they are 14-4 against all time. Cumberland will enter Thursday on a two-game winning streak after taking a pair of one-run games against Lambuth University on Sunday.
Gates and Schmidt are tied for the team lead with seven home runs apiece, while Gates ranks second in the Ohio Valley Conference with a .439 on-base percentage. Gates has a .302 batting average to go along with a team-high 25 walks. She has also made the most of her hits as she boasts a .557 slugging percentage.
In addition to leading the team in home runs, Schmidt has driven in a team-high 31 RBIs while ranking second on the team with 38 hits. The Golden Eagle catcher is hitting .281 as the team's clean-up hitter and has been reliable behind the plate with a .979 fielding percentage.
Spalding leads the team with a .313 batting average and ranks just behind Gates with an on-base percentage of .436. She has six doubles and one home run in 83 at-bats in her freshman campaign.
Maddie Schmissrauter leads the Tech pitching staff with a 2.08 earned run average and a 7-7 record. The junior has 99 strikeouts in 101 innings pitched.
For Cumberland, Allison Blackwood leads the Bulldogs with a .333 batting average, while Emily Nicholson has a team-high six home runs and .305 batting average. Blackwood has also started 22 games at pitcher and leads the team with a 2.70 ERA and 11-11 record.
First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Tech Softball Field. Admission is free. Live stats for Thursday's doubleheader will be available through TTUsports.com.