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April 2, 2011

Golden Eagles lose the marathon, but win the sprint as they split with Eastern Illinois

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Scoring was not prevalent as Tech softball opened with split against Eastern Illinois, which included a 14-inning, 3-hour, 45-minute saga off the arms of TTU's Holly Thomas and EIU's Amber May.

The opening game of their three-game series saw the Panthers come out on top in 14 innings as they managed to put up a two-spot in the top of the 14th to finish the 3-1 grinder.
 
The game remained scoreless through the first seven innings as Thomas and May gave up a combined seven hits, while stranding just eight base runners.
 
As the game moved into extra innings, both teams were still scoreless as both teams stymied a pair of scoring threats in the ninth inning, which included Tech's third double play of the contest.
 
As the game moved into the 10th inning, both teams were given a base runner at second base to start each inning. EIU's Hailee Hanna took advantage as she drove a two-out double to left field to break the scoreless deadlock.
 
The Golden Eagles responded in the bottom of the inning off an RBI single from freshman Kendall Hooper, to tie it back up at one, but were unable to bring the winning run across the plate as Tech stranded a pair.
 
The game remained tied at one heading into the 14th inning, as May and Thomas continued to hold their opponents bats in check. The Panthers were finally able to break through of a pair of runs, which included an RBI double from Melise Brown, to take a 3-1 lead.
 
TTU managed to load the bases in the bottom of the frame, but May held firm as she completed the 14-inning epic, to improve to 10-4 on the season.
 
Thomas fell to 10-5 on the season as she gave up three runs, while striking out six, in a TTU record 14 innings pitched. She passed the previous mark of 12 innings that was set in 2006 by Bonnie Bynum against Jacksonville State.
 
A strong performance off the arm of junior Whitney Cummings in game two allowed Tech to even the series, as it won the 2-0 decision.
 
Just like the first game, pitching was once again the dominant force controlling the game as Cummings, and EIU's Stephanie Maday allowed a combined total of two runs, on seven hits.
 
The scoreboard remained dormant through the top of the third, but in the bottom of the inning the Golden Eagles loaded the bases for Callie Schmidt as she drove in the game's first run to put Tech up 1-0.
 
Sophomore Brittney Spalding added an insurance run with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth, but Cummings would not need it as she completed her second shutout of the season to improve to 5-5 on the season. Maday was saddled with the loss as she fell to 9-2.
 
Tech (15-13, 6-6 OVC) will look to win the series Sunday, as it host the rubber game, at 1 p.m.