WOODSTOCK, Ga. - The Golden Eagles gave starter Maddie Schmissrauter a five-run lead after the first inning, and that was more than enough as the junior shutout Western Carolina, 11-0, in Tennessee Tech's first game of the Buzz Classic hosted by Georgia Tech. TTU then narrowly fell in a pitchers' duel, 1-0, in the second game of the day against Mercer.
With the split, Tech moves to 6-6 on the season, while Western Carolina is now 3-6 and Mercer improves to 10-6.
Tech 11, Western Carolina 0
An 11-run victory is not the only reason why the Golden Eagles were excited on Friday as Tech's Lacie Coquerille made her 2010 season debut after missing the Golden Eagles first two tournaments of the season.
Coquerille, a First Team All-OVC honoree last season, made her presence felt immediately in Friday's game as she singled up the middle in the 1st inning to knock in Whitney Cummings as part of a 5-run first inning.
In her second at-bat, Coquerille led off the 3rd inning with a solo home run to give the Golden Eagles a 6-0 lead, and she capped off her day with double to left-center as part of a 3-for-3 day at the plate.
Coquerille was not the only Golden Eagle swinging a hot bat on Friday as TTU finished with 12 hits total and eight Golden Eagles had at least one hit.
Chanelle Spalding and Schmissrauter both had a multi-hit game with Spalding going going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Schmissrauter helping her own cause with a 2-for-3 day at the plate and one RBI.
Cummings finished the game 1-for-2 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored, while Brittany Spalding went 1-for-2 with three RBIs and Callie Schmidt was 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
In the circle, Schmissrauter was nearly untouchable as she pitched 5.0 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and just four hits allowed. Schmissrauter (2-1) made her first start of the season after coming in relief in her first five appearances this season.
Mercer 1, Tech 0
After losing 9-1 in their first match-up with Mercer this season, the Golden Eagles made Friday's contest much more interesting as Holly Thomas kept the Bears' bats at quiet for most of the afternoon.
Thomas pitched a complete game two-hitter for the Golden Eagles, but unfortunately for TTU, both of those hits came in the 5th inning as Mercer pushed across the lone run of the game. Thomas struck out nine and walked just three in 7.0 innings of work as she moves to 4-3 on the season.
The Golden Eagles' best scoring opportunity came in the 4th inning when Kaleigh Gates and Lacie Coquerille hit back-to-back two-out singles to put runners on first and second. Both runners would be stranded there as Mercer pitcher Jenni Holtz struck out Thomas to end the inning.
In addition to Gates and Coquerille, the Golden Eagles got hits from Melody Christian, Chanelle Spalding and Brooke Basten in the game.
Tech returns to action on Saturday, March 6 when the Golden Eagles play two more games at the Buzz Classic. TTU will square off against James Madison to start the day and take on Mississippi later in the day.