By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Tennessee Tech took advantage of a five-error third inning for La Salle as the Golden Eagles exploded for 12 runs in the frame en route to a five-inning, 16-6 victory on Friday.
KaDedra Temple and Sydney Love-Baker hit back-to-back home runs in the inning, as well as collected three RBI each in the contest to lead Tech (7-4). The Golden Eagles had 11 hits in the contest, including three for Love-Baker.
Haeli Bryson picked up the victory, improving to 3-3 on the season. Bryson ended the game allowing one hit as she walked one and struck out three over 4 1/3 scoreless frames.
Kendall Durard made her first appearance in the circle for the Golden Eagles this season, coming on in the top of the fifth. Durard yielded the first three hits of the contest, leading to six runs – two earned – following an error. She also walked three.
Jenna Khantzian (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs – three earned – on five hits and one walk in two innings. Lauren Begg took the brunt of the damage, allowing 11 runs – three earned – on five hits and a walk on two-thirds of an inning.
All of Tech's runs came in the second and third. In the second, the Golden Eagles scored four runs on three hits as Temple drove in Nicolle Nysted on a sacrifice fly, Hannah Richter scored on a Love-Baker double down the right field line, then Love-Baker scored on Jessie Lowery's single up the middle.
The fifth inning was disastrous for the Explorers as they allowed the Golden Eagles to score 12 runs on six hits with five errors extending the frame. Tech batted all the way around before a single out was recorded.
Beth McCulley led off as she was walked on four straight pitches, then took second on a wild pitch. Nysted doubled to right, scoring McCulley, then came home on Richter's first hit of the season – a single into right. Richter stole second, then an error on a misplayed fly ball allowed Temple to reach, putting runners on the corners.
Love-Baker drove in Richter on an RBI single, then a wild pitch allowed Temple to score and Love-Baker to take second. Lowery reached on an error at second as Love-Baker scored. Bryson reached on an error at short, then Raleigh Lewis singled to left, loading the bases. Alexis Trimiar reached on an error at short as Lowery and Bryson came home.
A passed ball allowed Lewis to score, then a wild pitch gave Trimiar room to come home. Richter reached on a fielder's choice, then Temple went yard for a two-run blast to left center. Love-Baker then homered to left for the 12th and final run of the inning.
With the run-rule firmly in effect, the Golden Eagles saw La Salle rally for six runs in the last-ditch bottom of the fifth, including a three-run home run for Casey Walker.
The Golden Eagles return to action on Saturday morning against Maine at 10 a.m. The Black Bears went 1-1 on Friday, beating La Salle 4-2 and falling to Virginia 1-0.