By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – With winning three of their last four Ohio Valley Conference matchups, the Tennessee Tech softball team has to be feeling some momentum brewing.
But with visiting Murray State coming in for a twinbill on Friday afternoon, starting at 5 p.m., it won't be an easy feat.
Despite the Racers' 10-27 record, including an 0-8 start in Ohio Valley Conference play, Murray State won't be a pushover. Tech found that out the hard way back during the tournament schedule, falling to the Racers 21-0 in five innings back on Feb. 24, nearly two months ago.
Needless to say, a lot of time has passed and the teams aren't exactly the same as they were when they met back then.
As a team, the Racers are hitting .240, with Sierra Gilmore leading the way at .316, towing along 24 RBI. The top run producer on the team however is Lexi Jones, who has driven in 25 runs with seven home runs to her credit.
The Racers have 124 total RBI with 14 home runs on the season. They can be patient at the plate, collecting 102 walks, but they've also struck out 185 times. If they reach, they can also be a danger on the basepaths, stealing 33 bases out of 40 tries.
In the circle, Haven Campbell has received the most work, compiling a 6-9 record and a 3.33 earned run average in 24 appearances and 17 starts. She's allowed 53 runs – 43 earned – on 102 hits, while walking 33 and striking out 50. Teams are hitting .277 against her.
Amber Van Duyse (4.84 ERA, 2-6) has the second-most appearances with 22, while Olivia Suski (3.70 ERA, 2-9) has the second-most starts with 11.
The Golden Eagles (12-24, 3-7 OVC), meanwhile, are hitting .251 as a team with 23 home runs and 118 RBI. Tech has drawn 76 walks and has struck out 167 times.
Hallie Davis leads the Golden Eagles in batting average with a .307 mark, hitting five home runs and driving in 14. Bayli Cruse (.282) is the team leader in RBI with 25, while Raegan Sparks (.281) has 19.
In the circle, Taylor Waldrop, who was named the Pitcher of the Week by both the OVC and the Tennessee Sports Writers Association this past week after shutting out Tennessee State and Belmont, saw her season ERA drop to 3.80 and her record even at 7-7. In 97 2/3 innings, she has allowed 68 runs – 53 earned – on 112 hits, while walking 41 and striking out 65. Teams are hitting .282 against her.
Tech's No. 2, Kayla Hughes, has been putting together solid pitching performances of late, despite collecting a 1-4 record in league play. In five OVC games and 32 innings of work, she has a 2.41 ERA, allowing 11 runs on 27 hits with batters hitting .233 against her.
Admission to all games at Tech Softball Field are free to the public.
Photo by Jim Dillon