By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech softball team put together a late rally, but the effort wasn't enough to overcome the deficit on Sunday as Belmont took a 5-3 victory at E.S. Rose Park, completing the three-game sweep over the Golden Eagles.
Tech (18-28, 12-18 Ohio Valley Conference) concludes the regular season on Friday and Saturday as the Golden Eagles host UT Martin.
Haeli Bryson started in the circle and lasted two innings before getting chases, allowing three runs on two hits, walking two and striking out one. Kendall Durard pitched the next four frames, allowing two runs on three hits as she struck out three.
Alex Clesi earned her sixth win of the season, pitching the first four innings as she allowed just two hits, walking two and striking out two. Tech did its damage against Autumn McDaniel, who allowed three runs – two earned – on four hits, with a walk and no strikeouts. Alicia Veltri came in for the final inning and a third, allowing two hits while closing the door on the Golden Eagles.
Belmont scored a run in the home half of the first as Cheyenne Cavanaugh tripled to lead off, the came home on Abi Ledbetter's sacrifice fly to left.
The Bruins added two more in the second as Cavanaugh hit her second triple of the day, this time bringing Veltri and Georgia McKee home to score. Another Belmont run crossed in the third as Elison Ollinger doubled to drive in Ledbetter.
It took until the sixth inning before the Golden Eagles dented the scoreboard. With one down, Beth McCulley hit a single up the middle, then Shelby Penning was hit by a pitch. Paxton Grimes reached ona fielder's choice as the Bruins took out McCulley at third. Carmen Betts came up with a single to right, but reaching third on a two-base error as Penning and Grimes scored. Mackenzie Fitzgerald drove Betts in with a double to left center.
In the seventh, Tech put batters on as Sydney Love-Baker hit a one-out double to center field, then Nicolle Nysted hit a single to center, putting runners at the corners. The Bruins, however, coaxed a grounder to third and a pop-up to second to end the contest.