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February 9, 2013

Spalding delivers as Golden Eagles split opening day pair in Georgia

STATESBORO, Ga. -- Senior Chanelle Spalding delivered a bases-loaded, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Tennessee Tech softball team to a dramatic, 4-3 win over St. John's Saturday and a split of its opening two games of the '13 campaign.

The win followed a 9-2 loss to Akron and gave head coach Bonnie Bynum her first career victory as the Golden Eagles commete in the Eagle Round Robin hosted by Georgia Southern.

Just an hour after falling to Akron in their season opener, the Golden Eagles bounced back to beat St. John's.

St. John's scored one in the top of the first when Jackie Reed's fielder's choice plated Yvonne Rericha, but Golden Eagle sophomore starter Erica Tuck settled into a groove in her first start of 2013, ending the inning with back-to-back strikeouts. Tuck and the Golden Eagles played solid defense for the next four inning, not allowing a runner past second until the fifth. In the sixth inning St. John's scored two runs off of three hits for 3-0 advantage. Rericha played a role again, driving in the first run and taking part in a double-steal for the second.

The Golden Eagles began to battle back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 3-2 contest. Chanelle Spalding reached on dropped fly and Kendall Hooper earned her second RBI of the day with a single up the middle for Tech's first run of the game. Hooper scored two batters later on a triple by junior Chelsea Burgess, bringing Tech to within one, 3-2.

Tuck slammed the door on the Red Storm on the top of the seventh, setting the stage for the game-winning really. Hannah Eldridge doubled to center field, Foyd walked and Melody Christian loaded the bases with a bunt single. Chanelle Spalding hit her walk-off single up the middle, scoring Floyd and Eldridge.

Against Akron, Tech opened the contest on a roll as the first four batters for Tech singled, scoring two runs. Tech's lead off, Kayla Floyd, singled down the third base line and stole second while senior Melody Christian took her turn at the plate. Christian also singled to third before Chanelle Spalding stepped to the plate and sent a ball flying up the middle allowing Floyd to score Tech's first run.

Junior Kendall Hooper had two runners in scoring position, and sent in another run after singling to right center. The Golden Eagles ended the inning with a 2-0 lead.

The Zips scored one in the second, then plated four runs in the third on four hits and Tech never recovered. The Golden Eagles threatened in the fourth, but freshman Cortney Fry was thrown out at the plate. Akron scored two runs in the fourth and fifth innings and finished the Golden Eagles, 9-2.

The Golden Eagles return to action Sunday in the final day of the Eagle Round Robin. Tech will seek to gain pay-back against Akron at 8:30 a.m. CT before taking on host Georgia Southern at 12:30 p.m. The second game will be aired live by GSEagles.com