By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
FLORENCE, Ala. – The first game, it was a timely hit. The second, a solid pitching performance. But by the time the final out was recorded on Tuesday, the Tennessee Tech softball team earned a sweep over a hot North Alabama team, extended its winning streak to five games and earned its best 13-game start since the 2006 season.
Tech (8-5) topped the host Lions 3-2 in the opener, then held them off 4-1 in the nightcap, dropping UNA down to a 10-5 record on the season.
The Golden Eagles return to action on Friday at the Buccaneer Classic at East Tennessee State with two games on Friday against Rutgers and ETSU, then a single game on Saturday against Evansville.
In the opener, Tech trailed 1-0 going into the sixth inning. With one down, Kayla Hughes put a single down in right field, then Sydney Love-Baker drew a walk on five pitches. Raegan Sparks flew out to left field, setting things up for Raleigh Lewis.
The freshman hit her first home run over the weekend and took a quick strike. Lewis fouled off the next four, took a ball, fouled off one more, then took a second ball. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, she went yard, driving a shot to left field for a three-run home run.
North Alabama added a second run in the seventh, but that was it as Alyssa Arden picked up her third win in as many games. The reigning Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week allowed two runs – one earned – on five hits as she went the distance, walking two and struck out seven.
In game two, Haeli Bryson earned the victory, holding the Lions to a single run on four hits, walking one and striking out four. The win is Bryson's second of the year.
UNA added its lone run in the home half of the second, then Tech two more notches on the board in the fifth. Gabby LaSala hit a single up the middle to drive in Beth McCulley, then LaSala took second on the throw home. Lewis later picked up her fourth RBI of the day as she drove in LaSala with a single to right.
LaSala picked up the final Tech run with a double to left center, driving in McCulley. The senior LaSala ended the game with a 2-for-4 effort, while McCulley was 2-for-3