COOKEILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team remains on the road this weekend, but travels closer to home to the UT Chattanooga Frost Classic. The Golden Eagles will play in a 10-team field, and face five different squads from the across the mid-atlantic region.
Tech begins the tournament with games against Northern Kentucky and Niagara on Friday.
The Golden Eages are 4-4 and coming off a 2-2 turnout at the KSU classic. The Purple and Gold opened the classic with two victories, downing Liberty, 10-3 and Mercer, 3-1. The Golden Eagle offense showed signs of strength as Tech compiled 13 hits in the eight inning thriller against the Liberty Flames thanks to a power surge in the top of the eighth.
The bats couldn't swing quite as fast on day two of the tournament as the Golden Eagles fell to the top two teams present at the KSU Classic, falling to Ball State in five innings and host KSU, 1-0.
Freshman Madison Taylor has made an immediate impact for the Golden Eagles, leading the team offensively with nine hits in 17 appearances at the plate, hitting for a .529 clip. Taylor currently ranks second in the Ohio Valley Conference. Senior Melody Christian is still the quickest around the bases, accounting for six of Tech's 15 stolen bases so far this season, second in the OVC.
The Golden Eagle pitching staff is still lead by ace Taylor Ketchum (3-1). Ketchum is still recovering from an off-season injury, but doesn't seem to be fazed in the circle with a 1.22 era. Senior Claudia Harke (1-2) picked up her first victory in the KSU Classic, and Erica Tuck has pitched 16 innings.
Northern Kentucky: 0-0, This will be the first meeting between the Norse and the Golden Eagles.
Niagara: 3-0, It's been 17 years since Tech has faced the Purple Eagles. The last time the two teams squared off was March 14, 1996. The Golden Eagles won the contest 7-3 at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.
Miami (Ohio): 2-6, The Golden Eagles have faced Red Hawks eight times, and have rarely bested the birds, but in their last meeting, Tech won the face-off 5-4 in the 2010 Frost Classic.
Missouri St.: 0-1, This will only be the second meeting between Tech and Missouri State. The two teams met for the first time Feb. 4 2009, and the Golden Eagles fell, 4-0.
Ohio: 1-0, Tech and Ohio met in the Louisville Invitational in 2009, and the Golden Eagles ran away with a 8-1 victory over the Bobcats.
- Tech is 4-4 overall after going 2-2 last weekend at the KSU Classic.
- 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 .272, posting 22 runs scored, 19 rbi and a .326 on-base percentage through eight games.
- The Golden Eagle pitching staff has combined for a 3.41 ERA, allowing 25 earned runs in 52.0 innings pitched.
- Three players have scored 3+ runs for the Golden Eagles, including senior Melody Christian, the teams stolen bases leader.
- Christian is second in the OVC with 6 stolen bases.
- Freshman Madison Taylor has a .529 batting average, collecting a multiple career-firsts during the opening weekend, including her three hits, four putouts, and 2 rbi.
- Taylor's batting .529 clip ranks second in the OVC through the first eight games.
- Just two Golden Eagles have recroded triples, including newcomer Chelsea Burgess.
- Ketchum was named adidas® Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week. Ketchum gave up just two hits in 10 innings of work.