February 21, 2010

Thomas, Golden Eagles net second straight with 9-1 victory

Home opener is Wednesday doubleheader vs. Middle Tennessee

KENNESAW, Ga. – Sophomore pitcher Holly Thomas had another solid showing in the circle Sunday and the Tennessee Tech softball team won its second straight game with a convincing 9-1 victory over host Kennesaw State, allowing the Golden Eagles to wrap up play on the opening weekend of the season with a 2-3 record in the Kennesaw State Invitational.

After dropping their first three contests of the tournament, the Golden Eagles bounced back behind Thomas. On Saturday, she struck out 10 as Tech downed Alabama State, 7-0.

Sunday, Thomas (2-1) pitched all five innings and allowed just one run on four hits to get the victory over the Owls. She walked three and struck out six in the game, shortened to five innings due to the 8-run rule.

The Owls (4-3) jumped to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first frame, getting three of their four hits in the contest in succession with two outs. After the third straight single plated the first run of the game, Thomas walked a batter to load the bases, then got out of the inning with a strikeout.

The Owls got the leadoff batter aboard in the second on an error, and after that Thomas settled down and slammed the door, allowing just one more hit.

The Golden Eagles rewarded her with a five-run third inning and added four more in the fifth.

In the third, Tech hung five runs on the board with four hits and three KSU errors. Brooke Basten reached on a walk to lead things off, freshman Melody Christian singled and freshman Brittney Spalding doubled to drive in the tying run. Whitney Cummings’ sacrifice bunt plated Christian for a 2-1 lead and two more errors put a third runner across for coach Tory Acheson’s squad.

Callie Schmidt followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1 and an RBI single from Kaleigh Gates made it 5-1.
Kennesaw threatened in the bottom of the fourth, putting two runners on base with a leadoff triple and a walk, but Thomas coaxed another inning-ending strikeout.

The fourth inning saw Tech combine four hits with another Owl errors for four runs, with Gates delivering another RBI on a two-out single with two runners aboard. Basten kept the rally going with an RBI single and pinch-hitter Anna Zdroik hammered a two-run double to right center.
It’s a busy week coming up for the Golden Eagles who play at home in the middle of the week by hosting Middle Tennessee State in a Wednesday doubleheader then hit the road for another weekend tournament. The games against MTSU are the team’s first of the year at home, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. in the opening contest. Admission to all regular season home games is free.

This weekend it’s the Frost Classic in Chattanooga, with games against Miami (Ohio) and Oakland on Friday, Wright State and Kansas Saturday, and East Tennessee State on Sunday.