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Golden Eagle softball takes doubleheader at Western Illinois

Golden Eagle softball takes doubleheader at Western Illinois

By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

MACOMB, Ill. – The Tennessee Tech softball team poured on the offense on Saturday as the Golden Eagles took both ends of the doubleheader at Western Illinois, scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh to take a 12-11 victory in the opener, then topping the Leathernecks 9-4 in the nightcap.

The Golden Eagles (12-8, 4-1 Ohio Valley Conference) return to action on Sunday as they look for the sweep against WIU, starting at 12 p.m. Tech currently stands in a tie for first place with Eastern Illinois and Tennessee State.

As a team Saturday, the Golden Eagles scored 21 runs on 28 hits, batting .412 at the plate. While the Golden Eagles only had one home run – credited to Faith Rush – Tech did have seven doubles on the day with Sydney Kirby collecting three of those.

Carmen Betts and Ella Bishop each went 3-for-4 with two RBI in the contest.

Emily York picked up her fourth win of the season in relief as she allowed two runs – one earned – on six hits in the final four innings of the contest, shutting the Leathernecks down to give the offense the opportunity to strike.

And that they did – after trailing 11-6, bolstered by a seven-run fourth inning – the Golden Eagles scored four runs in the fifth to trail 11-10, then scored single runs in the sixth and seventh to take the lead. York coaxed a fly ball, then struck out the next batter to get two quick outs. WIU challenged with a single to center field and an error in left field, but the final out was a popup to short to end the contest.

Tech scored first with two runs in the top of the first as Betts and Sofia Carroll each had RBI singles. WIU scored three in the bottom of the first, then one more in the second.

The Golden Eagles retook the lead in the third with a four-spot. Kirby scored on an error at short, then Bishop singled in Abby Buettner. Rush then unleashed her blast to put two more on the board.

WIU struck for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, collecting six hits and two errors. It was, however, the last runs the Leathernecks scored in the game.

Tech responded with four runs in the fifth as Bishop drove in Olivia Evans, S.J. Talley's sacrifice fly scored Carroll, Abby Shoulders pushed Bishop home with a single to left, then Betts drove in Mac Fitzgerald with a single.

The Golden Eagles tied the game in the sixth as Carroll scored from third on a wild pitch, then scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh as Shoulders came home on a Kirby sacrifice fly.

Payton Wagner threw the first frame, allowing three runs – one earned – on two hits as she walked three. Rush threw the next two innings, allowing six runs – five earned – on five hits with one walk and one struck out. York did not walk a batter and struck out four in her four-inning tenure.

In game two, Lennon Spicer picked up the victory as she threw the first four innings, allowing two runs on four hits, walking four and striking out two. Wagner collected the save – her first – as she threw the final three innings, yielding two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out one.

Kirby went 4-for-4 in the nightcap, driving in two, while Carroll was 3-for-4 from the plate.

Tech never trailed in the second game, collecting two runs in the top of the first. Kirby had an RBI double to score Fitzgerald, then Buettner drove Kirby in with a single to short.

WIU chipped away with a single run in the second, but the Golden Eagles got it right back in the third as Carroll drove in Betts with a base hit. The Leathernecks added a run in the bottom of the third, then the Golden Eagles added two in the fifth as Betts and Kirby hit back-to-back RBI doubles to score Shoulders and pinch-runner Bailee Stack.

Leading 5-2, Western Illinois added a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Tech got a run back in the top of the sixth with a Shoulders RBI single. The Leathernecks added one more run in the home half of the inning.

Tech got three insurance runs in the top of the seventh as Bishop had an RBI single, then an error on a ball hit to second base by Alina Schlageter allowed Bishop and Carroll to score. In the bottom of the seventh, Wagner shut down the WIU offense as she coaxed a fly ball to left, a liner to first, then a fly ball to center field to end the game.

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