COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team escapes the cold front in Tennessee to play in its final tournament of the season. The Golden Eagles head to the sunshine state to play in the University of South Florida Under Armour Showcase.
Tech (7-7) will play among 25 teams, the largest tournament on the Golden Eagles schedule, but only face five different squads over the course of three days. The Purple and Gold open play against Maine Friday at 12:30 CT, before taking on Fordham at 3:45. In the first half of Saturday's twin bill, Tech will take on Long Island University Brooklyn at 3:45 and face Temple in their only night game of the weekend at 6 p.m. The Golden Eagles close out play against Providence at 8 a.m. on Sunday.
Three of Tech's four games were cancelled last weekend at the Purple and Gold challenge. In the Golden Eagles only game, Tech fell to IPFW in five innings 8-0. Melody Christian and Kendall Hooper were the lone Golden Eagles to reach base on hits, both singles. Christian leads Tech with nine runs scored, a .429 slugging percentage, seven RBI and eight stolen bases.
Freshman Madison Taylor holds top spot with a .394 batting average and an on base percentage of .512. Defensively, Channelle Spalding leads the Golden Eagles with 85 putouts, and just two errors, but freshman Courtney Fry has made an immediate impact in the dirt delivering a 1.000 fielding percentage with 31 putouts.
In the circle, the Golden Eagles continue to look to Taylor Ketchum despite an old injury flaring up. Ketchum has pitched 43 innings and recorded five wins across nine games and a 1.14 ERA. Senior Claudia Harke (2-3) and Erica Tuck (0-2) has split the remaining time pitching 21.2 and 20.2 innings respectively.
Maine: 1-2, The Black Bears hold the edge in the series, but Tech took the pairs last meeting 5-3 in February of 2009.
Fordham: 0-0, This will be the first meeting between Fordham and Tennessee Tech.
LIU Brooklyn: 1-0, Tech has only faced Long Island Univeristy one time, and came away with a 3-2 victory in 1999.
Temple: 1-3, The Owls and the Golden Eagles have battled few times, with Temple holding a slight edge. Tech's only win, 4-3, came in March of 2000 at the Speedline Classic in Tampla, Fla. The two teams first paired off in 1998, and most recently faced off in 2004.
Providence: 2-0, One of Tech's few remaining undefeated series, the Golden Eagles first met Friars in 1990 but recently defeated Providence College 2-1 at the Charleston Southern Invitational in 2005.