By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
MURRAY, Ky. – A late miscue broke a scoreless tie at an inopportune moment on Saturday while the Tennessee Tech softball team couldn't get the timely hit it needed to break onto the scoreboard as the Golden Eagles were swept in both ends of the doubleheader against Murray State.
The Racers (17-18, 7-1 Ohio Valley Conference) won the first game 1-0, then defeated Tech (15-17, 5-5 OVC) 5-0 in the second.
The first game was a fantastic pitchers' duel between Tech's Alyssa Arden and Murray's Hannah James as the two went blow for blow in the contest and neither hurler yielding a run. Arden even had a no-hit bid going through the sixth.
It was all good until the top of the seventh. Madison Culver reached on a one-out single down the left field line, lifted for pinch runner Kristen Bialek. Lexi Jones was hit by a pitch with an 0-2 count, then a Lindsey Carroll single to left center loaded the bases.
Ellison Barrett grounded the ball to short, but the play resulted in an error, allowing Bialek to score the walk-off run.
Arden saw her record fall to 9-7 as she allowed an unearned run on two hits – both coming in the bottom of the seventh -- as she walked three and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings of work. Her counterpart, James, saw her record improve to 9-8 as she went the distance, allowing no runs or walks on three hits with three strikeouts.
In game two, the Racers jumped on Tech starter Kayla Hughes early, tagging her for two runs in the opening frame as Culver hit a two-run single up the middle.
The Golden Eagles collected five hits in the game, but just couldn't get it to come as the right moment as Tech stranded five.
The Racers added three more runs in the fifth inning as Sierra Gilmore hit a two-run single to center field, then scored herself on an error in center field.
Hughes fell to 3-5 on the year, allowing five runs – four earned – on eight hits as she walked three and struck out one. Murray pitcher Taylor Makowsky improved to 5-2 as she did not allow a run in the complete game effort, allowing one walk and striking out two.
The Golden Eagles return home on Tuesday as they host Jacksonville State in an OVC doubleheader, starting at 2 p.m.