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Golden Eagles tie game, Lindenwood wins in extras

Golden Eagles tie game, Lindenwood wins in extras

By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – After Lindenwood scored eight runs in the second inning, Tennessee Tech battled back, forcing extra innings as Emily York pitched a gem to keep the Golden Eagles alive.

But the visiting Lions took the lead in the top of the eighth inning and Tech couldn't get the hit it needed to keep the game going, falling 9-8 in eight innings.

The Golden Eagles fall to 15-14 overall, 6-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference, while Lindenwood improves to 17-16, 6-6 in league play.

Lennon Spicer used a six-pitch inning in the first to retire Lindenwood, the Golden Eagles collected two runs on four hits to jump on starter Molly Berkey early. After Mac Fitzgerald hit a single to short, she stole second, then advanced to third on an errant throw by the catcher. Abby Shoulders laid down a bunt and the attempt was made to try to throw out Fitzgerald at the plate, but she beat out the tag.

Carmen Betts hit a single, but the batted ball hit Shoulders to retire her from the basepath. Abby Buettner singled to short, then Sydney Kirby drew a walk to load the bases with Sofia Carroll driving Betts in with a single up the middle to take a 2-0 lead.

Lindenwood answered in a big way, scoring eight runs on five hits and no errors. The Lions sent eight batters to the plate before the Golden Eagles were able to get an out, ending Spicer and reliever Faith Rush's day before York was brought in with the bases still loaded.

Spicer finished allowing five runs on three hits with a strikeout over one complete inning, while Rush was tagged for three runs on no hits and three walks.

York saw Rush's inherited runners come home to make it an 8-2 game, but she shut Lindenwood down as she didn't allow another hit to the Lions until the eighth inning.

Tech, meanwhile, was getting hits, collecting 13 total in the game, but the Golden Eagles ended up stranding eight.

Betts went 4-for-5 at the plate, driving in four runs and scoring twice. Fitzgerald and Shoulders also had multi-hit games, while Sydney Kirby drove in two.

The Golden Eagles started the path back almost immediately, collecting four runs in the bottom of the second. Jordan Key led off with a single up the middle, then Fitzgerald was hit by a pitch. Shoulders hit a ball to short and the Lions defense tried to get Alina Schlageter at third. The ball was bobbled, allowing everyone to be safe and load the bases.

Betts made them pay with a three-run double to left center to clear the bases, then Kirby's double scored Betts to make it an 8-6 game.

Tech made it a one-run contest in the bottom of the third as Fitzgerald, Shoulders and Betts collected three back-to-back-to-back singles with two down to plate Fitzgerald. After two scoreless innings, the Golden Eagles tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a Kirby ground ball to second, bringing Shoulders home to make it 8-all.

The opportunity was there in the bottom of the seventh for the Golden Eagles to walk the game off. Tech's defense held in the top of the seventh as York coaxed a pop-up to short, hit a batter, struck one out swinging, then the runner at first left early to end the frame with nothing doing.

In the Golden Eagle half, Ella Bishop led off with a single, moved over to second on S.J. Talley's sacrifice bunt, then pinch-runner Bailee Stack took third on Key's grounder. Reliever Avery Wapp came in and got Fitzgerald to fly out to left field, ending the threat.

Now in the extra frame, Irelynn West led off with a double to left with pinch-hitter Whitney Kinser moving West to third on a sacrifice bunt. Morgan Gersch hit a double to center field and it bounced over the wall, taking the lead as West crossed the plate.

Tech got out of the inning, but Wapp retired the Golden Eagles in succession, forcing fly balls from Shoulders, Betts and Buettner to end the game and claim the series sweep.

York took the loss, going seven complete innings as she allowed one run on four hits, walking one and striking one.

Amanda Weyh went 5 2/3 innings of relief, allowing two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. Wapp became the pitcher of record when she entered with the game tied and claimed the victory in 1 1/3 innings, retiring all four batters faced.

The Golden Eagles return to the road this week as they head to Bellarmine on Wednesday, then return to OVC play next weekend at Southeast Missouri. Tech is back home on April 10 against Kennesaw State.

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