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April 2, 2010

Fielding errors prove crucial as Tech falls twice to Racers

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- 

Seventeen unearned runs over two games helped lift the Murray State Racers to a pair wins over the Tennessee Tech softball team on Friday by scores of 12-6 and 6-1.

Fourteen runs were scored between the two teams in just the first two innings of game number one as the Racers jumped out to an early 8-0 lead after batting through the lineup in each of the first two innings.

A lead-off walk and two errors in the first inning allowed Murray State (9-17, 4-4 OVC) to score four runs with two outs. Two of those runs came on a Stephanie Mattocks single up the middle.

In the second, MSU struck again after a hit batter and another error loaded the bases with two outs. After an RBI single by Lauren Buch, Mattocks hit another two-RBI single, this time to left. She was followed up by a Stephanie Edwards single that scored Buch to make the score 8-0.

The Golden Eagles (13-21, 3-5 OVC) rebounded in the bottom of the second, scoring six runs on six hits after taking advantage of three Racer errors.

Junior Callie Schmidt reached on an error to lead off the inning and was followed by singles by sophomore Whitney Cummings and fellow junior Lacie Coquerille to load the bases. After sophomore Erin Cutlip singled, freshman Samantha Everett singled up the middle and, after two errors by MSU fielders, Cummings, Coquerille, and Cutlip all came around to score. Junior Anna Zdroik then doubled to left, scoring Everett, and was brought around to score by a single by junior Kaleigh Gates, closing the gap to 8-6.

Murray State tacked on four more in the fourth, loading the bases with a walk and two Tech errors. Another hit batter and a passed ball let the Racers score two before an RBI single by Taylor Wilson and a fielder’s choice allowed two more runners to cross home, ending the scoring at 12-6.

Starr Gilley picked up her first win of the season, striking out four and walking one in her five innings of work.

Sophomore Holly Thomas took the loss for the Golden Eagles, allowing eight unearned runs on eight hits and striking out one in two innings. Freshman Claudia Harke took over in the third and pitched the rest of the game, allowing four runs and striking out three.

Game two started out to be the exact opposite of the first as a bunt single by Cutlip, a Racer error and a Gates single loaded the bases in the bottom of the first. Cummings then hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Cutlip from third.

The game then went scoreless until Murray State put up six runs, five unearned, in the top of the seventh. After an error and a Buch walk, junior pitcher Maddie Schmissrauter was pulled from the circle. Thomas entered the game with a chance at a save, but gave up an RBI single to Mattocks on her fourth pitch of the contest. Two walks and an outfield error allowed two runs to score and left the bases loaded. Ellyn Troup then cleared the bases with single and another error, making the score 6-1.

Freshman Channelle Spalding reached on a walk to open the bottom of the seventh, but Tech was stifled with three quick outs to end the game.

Chelsey Sullivan got the win in game two, pitching the final two innings and giving up just one hit.

Schmissrauter struck out three and walked four in six innings before leaving the game. Thomas suffered her second loss of the day, taking her to 8-11 on the year. She walked two and struck out one in her lone inning, allowing four runs on two hits.

The series is scheduled to conclude tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Tech Softball Field. Admission is free.