COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Two home runs by junior Kaleigh Gates lifted the Tennessee Tech softball team to a 4-1 Ohio Valley Conference home win over Jacksonville State Tuesday afternoon, after the Gamecocks won the first game, 5-1.
The Gamecocks (13-14, 2-4 OVC) jumped on top of Tech 3-0 in the second inning of the opener when Amanda Crow popped a home run down the left field line with two runners on.
The Golden Eagles (13-19, 4-3 OVC) loaded the bases in the second on a pair of walks and a single with no outs, but only produced one run. Sophomore Jessica Steele battled to draw a nine-pitch walk which scored Gates from third, but three straight ground ball outs left three runners stranded and the score 3-1.
JSU was able to load the bases in the top of the sixth with the help of two singles and a hit batter, but couldn’t get runners across as junior Maddie Schmissrauter struck out Tess Echols swinging.
The Gamecocks tacked on two more in the seventh after a Tech error that loaded the bases for Sallie Beth Burch, who singled down the right field line to score Chrissy O’Neal. After a pitching change, Tech allowed one more run on a fielder’s choice to end the scoring at 5-1.
Tech again had a chance to put up runs in the seventh, but stranded runners on second and third to end the game.
The second game started slow with neither team scoring until the third inning. After a leadoff walk to freshman Lindsey Umberger, Gates hit a first-pitch home run to center to put the Golden Eagles ahead, 2-0.
JSU loaded the bases again in the top of the fourth after two walks and a fielder’s choice. All three were left on base, however, as Tech got the force-out on a ground ball to third.
Gates struck again in the fifth when, after a single by freshman Melody Christian, she hit a 3-2 pitch out of the park and off the scoreboard, making the score 4-0.
The lone run for the Gamecocks came in the seventh. Amanda Crow led off the inning with a single up the middle then came around to score after two more JSU hits, sealing the game at 4-1.
Gates went 3-for-4 on the day with two walks, two runs scored and four RBI. Freshman Channelle Spalding, Christian and Umberger scored Tech’s other runs.
Schmissrauter took the loss in the first game, allowing10 hits and four earned runs while striking out four in her six innings in the circle. Ashley Eliasson got the victory, giving up four hits and one run while walking five and striking out three.
The game two win went to sophomore Holly Thomas who struck out three and walked two while allowing five hits. Despite striking out seven, Hilary Phillips gave up all four earned runs and five hits, taking the loss for JSU.
The Golden Eagles host Murray State in a three-game series this weekend. The first pitch of Friday’s doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Tech Softball Field.