By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Jacksonville State spoiled the Tennessee Tech softball team's bid at its first conference win of the 2014 campaign, as JSU's (17-5, 3-0) Sarah Borders hit a walk-off three run home run in the bottom of the seventh to take the contest 5-3.
The Golden Eagles (8-21, 0-3) had broken a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning, putting on a power display with back-to-back solo home runs by junior Angi Sakamoto and senior Kendall Hooper to take a 3-1 advantage. Sakamoto's long ball was her fourth of the season to put her in a tie with senior Chelsea Burgess for the team high, while Hooper touched them all for the first time this year.
Sakamoto had previously given Tech a 1-0 advantage in the first inning, singling up the middle to bring around sophomore Madison Taylor with the first TTU run. Sakamoto finished the game going 2-for-3 with two RBI's and a run scored, while Taylor notched two hits in three trips to the plate.
The 3-1 advantage evaporated in the bottom of the seventh after the Gamecocks put their first three runners on thanks to a leadoff infield single from freshman Stephanie Lewis, which was followed by consecutive Golden Eagle errors that scored Lewis and put runners on second and third with no one down.
JSU junior Sarah Borders ended the contest one batter later, smacking a walk-off home run to left field to give the Gamecocks the 5-3 win. The round tripper ended sophomore Hannah Weaver's (3-10) bid at a complete game victory, as the 5-5 righty from Corona, Calif. suffered the tough luck loss, despite allowing only two earned runs on eight hits.
Senior Tiffany Harbin (6-3) notched the win, going the distance and allowing three earned on eight hits, walking one and striking out 10 Golden Eagles.
Tech will return to Cookeville for its first home OVC action of the season, taking on SIUE in a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 22. Game one is slated to begin a 1 p.m. CT.