COOKEILLE, Tenn. -- After starting the 2013 season on a strong note last weekend in Statesboro, Ga., the Tennessee Tech softball team returns to the Peach State Saturday and Sunday at the Kennesaw State Classic at Twin Creeks Park in Woodstock, Ga.
Tech plays Liberty at 9:30 a.m. CT Saturday before taking on Mercer at 12 p.m. The Golden Eagles will follow with two games Sunday at 9:30 a.m. vs. Ball State before facing host Kennesaw State at 2:30 p.m.
For Liberty and Ball State, Saturday's games will be their first action of the 2013 season. Both teams enter the KSU Classic after making runs in the MAC and Big South conference tournaments last season.
Tech will battle against a 5-1 Mercer squad that is coming off a strong showing at its own Mercer Invitational last weekend. The Bears only played two opponents, but beat Alabama State three times and finished 2-1 against IUPUI.
Kennesaw State enters the tournament with an unblemished 5-0 record. The Owls swept the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Crossover, defeating Missouri State, Eastern Michigan, Coastal Carolina and Butler.
Liberty: 2-3-1, The Flames hold the advantage, and took the last meeting 4-1 in March of 2010 at the University of Tennessee Tournament.
Mercer: 6-5, The Golden Eagles hold the slight edge over the Bears, but Mercer took the last contest 1-0 in the Buzz Classic in 2010.
Ball State: 2-3, The Cardinals have a slight edge in the battle of the birds, but the Golden Eagles walked away with a 2-1 victory last season thanks to a pair of singles in the bottom of the seventh at the Frost Classic.
Kennesaw State: 8-4, It's been two years since the Golden Eagles traveled to the KSU Classic, and the Tech defeated the host 9-1.
- The Golden Eagles finished the Eagle Round Robin hosted by Georgia Southern with a 2-2 record. The weekend was highlighted by a 3-1 victory over Akron as sophomore Taylor Ketchum threw a one-hitter Feb. 10.
- First year head coach Bonnie Bynum picked up her first win at Tennessee Tech after the team downed St. John's, 4-3. The Golden Eagles defeated St. John's thanks to a walk-off single by senior Chanelle Spalding, marking the first win against the Red Storm in program history and the first road victory of the 2013 season.
- As a team, Tech is hitting .283, posting 9 runs scored, 9 rbi and a .333 on-base percentage through four games.
- The Golden Eagle pitching staff has combined for a 3.81 ERA, allowing 11 earned runs in 26.0 innings pitched.
- Senior Chanelle Spalding is batting a team best .300 with 7 hits and 4 RBI.
- Three players have scored two runs for the Golden Eagles, including senior Melody Christian, the teams stolen bases leader.
- Freshman Madison Taylor has a .500 batting average, collecting a multiple career-firsts during the opneing weekend, including her three hits, four putouts, and 2 rbi.
- Ketchum was named adidas® Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week. Ketchum gave up just two hits in 10 innings of work.