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May 6, 2012

Golden Eagles drop two, advance to OVC Tournament

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team allowed only three earned runs over two games on Sunday, but couldn't get the offensive support it needed, losing a pair to Morehead State.

The Golden Eagles entered the weekend locked into the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference Championship Tournament, but could have moved up slightly in the standings with three wins. As it stands, however, Tech finished sixth in the regular-season standings and will face Jacksonville State in the first round of the tournament, hosted by regular-season champion UT Martin.

Tech opened Sunday with the longest active winning streak in the OVC at four games, but that was quickly snapped as Morehead State took game one 5-1.

Senior Holly Thomas got the starting nod for the Golden Eagles, but was pulled after 2.2 innings of work. She did not allow an earned run and struck out three while giving up four hits. The Eagles scored four runs in the second, two with two outs, with the help of two Tech errors.

MSU would tack on another in the fifth with a double and a single to take the five-run lead.

Senior Whitney Cummings and sophomore Kendall Hooper opened the top of the seventh with back-to-back singles. After a pair of strikeouts, freshman Hannah Eldridge singled up the middle to score Tyler Templet, who pinch ran for Cummings. Sophomore Cassie Garrett then singled to load the bases, but all three runners were stranded as the Eagles forced a flyout to end the threat.

MSU's Katie Pfost earned the win, fanning eight and allowing six hits and one run.

The Golden Eagles struck early in game two as junior Melody Christian singled, stole second, and came in to score on a wild pitch.

The Eagles responded in the second as Amber Riddle blasted a solo home run to left to tie the contest. They would go on to score three more runs over the next two innings, utilizing three Tech throwing errors.

Tech rallied in the top of the seventh once again, as back-to-back singles by Hooper and Brittney Spalding, as well as a MSU error, put two runners in scoring position. Freshman Angi Sakamoto then belted a single down the right field line, driving in two and cutting the lead to just one.

Morehead State's Pfost came in to pitch and was able to strike out the next two batters to seal the game at 4-3.

Junior Claudia Harke took the loss for Tech, giving up two earned runs and three hits. She struck out four in her four innings in the circle.

Jami Whitcomb picked up the win, allowing two runs on four hits in 3.1 innings.

The Golden Eagles open tournament play Thursday against Jacksonville State at 10 a.m. in Martin, Tenn. Check back to TTUSports.com for coverage.