By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After winning its first two games at the Wings Etc. Classic, the Tennessee Tech softball team took two tough losses on Sunday, falling 9-2 against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia, then a close 3-2 battle against tournament host USC Upstate in the finale.
Tech leaves Spartanburg with an 8-6 record as the Golden Eagles get set for next week's Buccaneer Classic against Tennessee, Bowling Green and host East Tennessee State.
Against the Cavaliers (8-5), Tech yielded four home runs, including three in a five-run fifth inning. Haeli Bryson (3-4) went 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs – seven earned – on 10 hits. Kendall Durard closed out the final 2 2/3, giving up a run on three hits with a strikeout.
The Golden Eagles fared much better against tournament host USC Upstate (12-2). Tech took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as Sydney Love-Baker led off with a double down the right field line. A grounder from Jessie Lowery allowed Love-Baker to advance to third, then Bryson's grounder to short gave room for Love-Baker to score.
Upstate scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth as Tiffany Domingue hit a two-run home run. Love-Baker knotted the game up with a solo shot in the top of the fifth. The Spartans retook the lead as Savannah Grigsby drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.
Alyssa Arden (5-2) went six innings, allowing three runs – two earned – on four hits, while walking one and striking out three. Upstate starter Celine Sullivan lasted two innings, allowing a run on two hits, walking two and striking out four. Reliever Erin Hill earned the win, her fourth of the season, allowing one run on three hits over five frames, walking one and striking out three.