May 5, 2013

Despite rainout, Tech qualifies for OVC Tournament; Seniors celebrated


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- No amount of rainfall was going to dampen the day for the Tennessee Tech softball team Sunday, which had its entire series against Jacksonville State washed out. The Golden Eagles qualified for the OVC Tournament, and went indoors to celebrate Senior Day.

Finishing the regular season with an 11-11 record, the Golden Eagles will head to Charleston, Ill., Tuesday as the seventh seed in the eight-team tournament, which will be hosted by Eastern Illinois beginning Wednesday.

On Sunday, the team and familes gathered in the dry Athletic Performance Center for Senior Day, with a nod toward Tech's four players in the Class of 2013, Brittney Spalding and Chanelle Spalding, Claudia Harke, and Melody Christian.

All four are four-year starters for the Golden Eagles and have collected 103 victories across the past four seasons, and a 7-4-tournament record.

Brittney Spalding has anchored third base for the past four seasons for the Golden Eagles. She has started just over 150 games and collected roughly 100 hits and 70 RBI. As a sophomore, Spalding led the team in doubles, and topped Tech in RBI as a junior. She has been on the TTU Athletic Director's Honor Roll for six semesters and has been on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll all three years.

Tech's 2013 Senior Class, from left: Melody Christian,
Claudia
Harke, Brittney Spalding and Chanelle Spalding.

Chanelle Spalding has been the other anchor to the Tech corners. She was a member of the 2010 OVC all-Newcomer team and in 2012, she was recognized as the team's Offensive Player of the Year. Chanelle Spalding has started in 175 games, collecting over 150 hits, close to 90 runs and 50 RBI. She has been on the TTU Athletic Director's Honor Roll every semester and has been on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll all three years.

Claudia Harke has been a consistent performer since first taking the circle. A native of Kimberly, Wis., the left-hander has made 77 appearances in her career, and has pitched over 200 innings for the Golden Eagles. Harke has thrown two complete game shutouts this season. Harke has been on the TTU Athletics Director's Honor Roll every semester at Tech and has been on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll all three years. Harke is the vice president of Tech's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was awarded the prestigious OVC Vernon Holland Scholarship Award.

Christian joined the Golden Eagles and made an immediate an impact. A native of Kingston Springs, Tenn., she has led the team in hits, runs and stolen bases the last three years. She has left her mark on the Tech records book and currently owns the ninth-best career batting average (.311), ninth-most career runs scored (120) and the second-most stolen bases by a Golden Eagle with 78. As a freshman, Christian was named to the OVC all-Newcomer team and was recognized as the team's Most Valuable Player, and was the Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore. She has been on the TTU Athletics Director's Honor Roll five times, and was on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll in 2010-11.