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March 10, 2012

Golden Eagles start off OVC on right foot

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- Senior Holly Thomas had a spectacular day as the Tennessee Tech softball team picked up a pair of wins in its opening weekend of Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday at Austin Peay.

Thomas picked up both a win and a save on the day as fellow senior Brooke Basten hit her first career home run as Tech topped the Lady Govs 3-1 and 6-5.

Tech (8-11) struck early in game one, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first. After sophomore Cassie Garrett and junior Melody Christian each reached on singles, Thomas lined a double to left to put Tech up 2-0.

The Lady Govs (6-8) scored their lone run in the fifth off of a double and an RBI single.

The Golden Eagles added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, as a pair of singles put runners at the corners. Basten then hit an RBI groundout to score Chanelle Spalding from third.

Austin Peay would threaten in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases with two outs. Thomas was then able to get APSU's Lauren deCastro to pop out to end the game, giving Tech the 3-1 win.

Thomas pitched all seven innings, her seventh complete game of the year. Holly struck out eight and walked just three. She also went 2-for-3 from the plate with a pair of RBI and a walk.

Game two started with Tech jumping on top again. After junior Melody Christian singled to open the inning, Basten hit her first career home run, a two-run shot over the right-field wall.

The Lady Govs' deCastro then hit a solo homer in the bottom of the inning to make it 2-1 Tech. Austin Peay scored four more in the bottom of the third to take a 5-2 lead.

Tech came storming back in the sixth, scoring three runs on a pair of singles, a double by freshman Angi Sakamoto, and an error by the Lady Govs.

The Golden Eagles then scored the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run in the top of the seventh. After junior Chanelle Spalding singled and stole second, her sister Brittney Spalding battled through a seven-pitch at-bat to single to center and score Chanelle.

Junior Claudia Harke picked up her first win of the season, striking out six and giving up just two runs in 5.2 innings of work. Thomas earned her first save of the year, striking out one as she faced the final two batters of the game.

The third and final game of the series is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday.