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Kirby powers through to aid York's gem in 7-1 win at EIU

Kirby powers through to aid York's gem in 7-1 win at EIU
By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, Ill. – Sydney Kirby had a big day in the finale as she drove in four of Tennessee Tech's seven runs on Sunday as the Golden Eagles put together a strong offensive effort in the finale to take a 7-1 victory over Eastern Illinois.
Kirby ended the game 2-for-3, while Mac Fitzgerald also had a multi-hit game with an RBI and Carmen Betts drove in two.
Emily York put together a gem as the freshman held the league's top offense to just three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts, allowing one run in the bottom of the first. She improved to 7-4 on the season with the victory.
All of the scoring came in the first two innings. Tech struck first as Fitzgerald led off with a single through the left side, then advanced to second on a grounder to short. Betts drew a walk on five pitches, then Kirby struck with a home run down the left field line to make it 3-0.
In the home half of the opening frame, Karson Davey reached on a fielding error at third, then stole second. Rachel Kaufman singled to left center to drive the run across.
Moving into the second inning, Abbee Klinefelter led off with a full-count walk, then moved over to second on S.J. Talley's sacrifice bunt to the circle. A passed ball gave Klinefelter room to take third, then an error allowed Olivia Evans to reach, but Klinefelter was held at third.
Fitzgerald eyed a single through the left side, bringing Klinefelter home and putting runners on first and second. They moved up on Abby Shoulders' grounder to short, then Betts brought them home with a double to center. After a pitching change, Kirby picked up another RBI with a single to center field.
York settled in after allowing a hit in each of the first and second innings, then only allowed one base runner from the third to the sixth with an error allowing Kaufman to take a base in the third inning, then collecting three straight 1-2-3 frames.
EIU broke the string in the bottom of the seventh as Aryn Henke led off by reaching on an error at short, but York continued her collected effort, striking out Mia Mazzola and Hanna Taylor before Sophie Cerveny collected a hit to put runners at the corners for the Panthers' third hit of the day.
The Golden Eagles (19-20, 9-12 OVC) return to action on Wednesday at Austin Peay in a 4 p.m. midweek contest. Tech returns home Saturday and Sunday for its final home series of the season as it hosts SIUE.

Photo | Jim Dillon, file

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