COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- With just three conference series remaining in the season, the Tennessee Tech softball team faces three games this weekend in an attempt to secure its seat in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
The Golden Eagles currently sit in fifth place in the conference and have won their last three OVC matchups. Tech boasts the best road record in the conference at 6-1 and are third in terms of OVC wins with 11. This weekend, the Golden Eagles travel to Charleston, Ill. to face Eastern Illinois, who sits in third with a record of 10-6.
The Panthers are the only team ahead of Tech whom the Golden Eagles have not already completed play against. Tech's other remaining opponents, SIU-Edwardsville and Morehead State, are currently in sixth and tenth, respectively.
EIU enters the weekend with the longest current winning streak in conference play, having won its last five games over Tennessee State and Southeast Missouri. The Panthers are 5-5 at home this season and have lost their last two at Williams Field to Murray State and Illinois. EIU is being led by Bailey O'Dell who is batting .375 with three home runs and a conference-leading 12 doubles.
In the circle, the Panthers rely on All-OVC pitcher Stephanie Maday, whose numbers are quite comparable to Tech's Holly Thomas. Maday (11-9) has an ERA of 2.02 and 133 strikeouts in 142.1 innings of work entering the weekend. Thomas picked up her 12th win Thursday over Eastern Kentucky, striking out double-digit batters for the second consecutive game.
The first pitch is slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday for a doubleheader and the teams will face off at noon on Sunday.
Rain and storms are expected in Charleston all weekend. Follow @TTUGoldenEagles on twitter for the latest reports on delays/cancellations. The Golden Eagles are scheduled to visit Cumberland on Tuesday before returning home to host SIUE on April 21.