MARTIN, Tenn. -- After winning its two biggest games of the season on Thursday, the Tennessee Tech softball team was unable to keep the magic flowing as it lost to UT-Martin on Friday, 6-2.
The Golden Eagles will face Murray State in a sudden-death matchup Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Martin, Tenn., for a chance to face UT-Martin again in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship game(s).
Senior Holly Thomas got the starting nod after pitching a heroic 14 innings on Thursday. Following a lead-off walk by the OVC Player of the Year, the Skyhawks managed a single and a pair of doubles to jump on top 3-0.
Sophomore Kendall Hooper hit her second career home run in as many days, ripping a solo shot to center in the bottom of the first inning to make it 3-1.
The Skyhawks tacked on two more runs in the third, including a solo home run by Jenny Bain, and one in the seventh to go up 6-1.
Back-to-back singles by junior Brittney Spalding and senior Samantha Everett sparked the offense to open the seventh. After a fielder's choice put runners at the corners, sophomore Cassie Garrett lined a single into left to score Spalding from third. That proved to be the only Tech run in the inning as OVC Pitcher of the Year Chelsea Jones was able to get out of the jam.
Jones got the win, striking out only one and allowing seven hits and two earned runs.
Thomas was tagged with the loss, giving up four earned runs in three innings of work. Freshman Taylor Ketchum pitched well in relief, allowing just one run and four hits over the final four innings.
UT Martin is now the only undefeated team remaining in the double-elimination tournament. The winner of the morning game must beat the Skyhawks twice to claim the championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Fans can listen to action of Saturday's games on the Golden Eagle Sports Network on 106.1 FM The Eagle, or online by clicking here, or watch the live web stream by visiting OVCSports.tv
The radio link is: http://www.foxsportsradio1061theeagle.com. Brandon Goodwin will provide the play-by-play.