RICHMOND, Ky. -- The Tennessee Tech softball team clinched its first Ohio Valley Conference series Saturday with a 5-1 victory over Eastern Kentucky, the top team in the East Division. Tech won two-of-three from the Colonels.
The bats were hot as the Purple and Gold (13-14/2-3 OVC) ended the series with four players collecting a pair of hits each, including Cortney Fry who has put together a hitting streak over the past four games, the first Golden Eagle to do so since Melody Christian opened 2013 with an 11-game streak. EKU dipped to 19-14/6-4 OVC.
Taylor Ketchum (10-5) battled in the circle, giving up just two hits in seven innings of work. Ketchum gave up just one hit through six innings, holding Eastern Kentucky to one run, which came in the third inning.
Tech was the first to light up the scoreboard, thanks to a single up the middle by catcher Chelsea Burgess in the top of the third. Burgess advanced when Hannah Eldridge was given a base after being hit by a pitch. With runners on first and second, freshman Madison Taylor stepped to the plate and launched a double to the warning track.
Eastern Kentucky countered with its only run of the game in the bottom of the third, for a stalemate until the fifth inning when the Golden Eagles capitalized on three Lady Colonel errors. Eldridge reached on a single and advanced on a Taylor walk. Kendall Hooper reached on a fielding error by the EKU shortstop that sent Eldridge to third. Eldridge scored on the next play on a throwing error on a hard ball hit by Chanelle Spalding. Tech had runners on first and third and Taylor scored on the fielder's choice. Tech ended the inning with a 3-1 edge.
The Golden Eagles scored their final two runs in the sixth. Fry singled down the left line, followed by Burgess with her own single to the left side. With one out, Christian beat out a bunt to load the bases and Chritian Gibbs, pinch-running for Fry, scored when Eldridge drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Hooper's groundout plated Burgess for the final run.
Tech takes a two-day break before returning to action Tuesday at East Tennessee State. The Golden Eagles will play in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CDT. The Golden Eagles return home Saturday and Sunday (April 6-7) for a pair of OVC doubleheaders against UT Martin and Southeast Missouri State.