MARTIN, Tenn. -- With one swing of the bat, sophomore Kendall Hooper gave the Tennessee Tech softball team a two-run lead it would not relinquish as the Golden Eagles beat Jacksonville State 2-1 in the opening game of the OVC Tournament.
Senior pitcher Holly Thomas dealt the complete-game victory, striking out six Gamecock batters and allowing just one earned run.
After JSU's Abbey Stepp hit a solo home run in the second, Tech's Angi Sakamoto was hit by a pitch to open the third. She was moved over on a sacrifice bunt by Melody Christian before coming around to score on an RBI single by senior Brooke Basten to tie the game.
Hooper then hit her first career home run, a solo shot to left, to put Tech on top.
The Golden Eagles advance to face the third seed Eastern Illinois with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. A live radio stream is available at http://player.radioloyalty.com/Universal/stationPreview.php?stationID=7915 with Brandon Goodwin providing play-by-play.