The softball team is off to an unexpected start as they fell to below-.500 after last weekend’s games in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tech was shut out by No. 1 Alabama in their Thursday night single game, 6-0, and then lost to the Tide again on Saturday 9-5. They managed to come up with some wins this weekend, winning against New Mexico 6-0 to earn a spot in the title game of the Hampton Inn Crimson Classic. Unfortunately, the Jackets did not get a chance to redeem themselves against the Tide due to a rain-out of the championship game scheduled for Sunday.
Errors were a problem for Tech the whole weekend, especially hurting the Jackets against Alabama on Thursday night. Alabama’s junior Kelly Montalvo singled and advanced to second on an error. One out later, Alabama’s junior Kellie Eubanks also singled and took second on an error with Montalvo scoring as a result.
Junior Brittany Rogers’ triple in the bottom of the fourth inning made it 2-0 ‘Bama. The following inning saw Tech runners make it to first and third with one out to threaten ‘Bama. But senior Becky McCraw and senior Aileen Morales fouled out to end any chance of a Tech threat.
Alabama’s junior Lauren Parker and freshman Whitney Larsen put the game away for the Tide in the following innings. Parker hit a two-run homer in the fifth and Larsen hit a two-run homer in the sixth to keep Tech out of reach.
Freshman Kelsi Dunne pitched seven shutout innings for the win, while senior Whitney Humphries took the loss for the Jackets.
Errors hurt the Jackets once again against Middle Tennessee State the next day in their first game of the Crimson Classic, where they edged out the Blue Raiders 2-1. An unearned run led to MTSU’s first run of the game. Luckily, the Jackets managed two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Whitney Haller doubled and scored on a triple by junior Tiffany Johnson. Freshman Amanda Crow then singled in the winning run.
The errors in the next game against New Mexico cost the Jackets the game, where they lost 1-0. Humphries’ wild pitch brought in the only run of the game. Senior Kelly Ninemire pitched a six-hit shut out for the Lobos.
The Jackets then played in their third game of the tournament, attempting to exact revenge against Alabama. The Jackets lost 9-5. This time, Tech took a 3-0 lead to start the game. Senior Stephanie Butler reached on an error and took second on an Aileen Morales single. Haller walked two batters later to load the bases before senior Savannah Brown hit a two-run base with two outs to score both runners. Haller then scored on a Johnson base hit.
‘Bama started a come back, scoring twice in the bottom of the inning on a Whitney Larsen home run. The following inning was when the Tide did the most damage; ‘Bama scored seven runs on four hits.
‘Bama loaded the bases with no one out. Following a pop out to center field, a hit batsmen and four RBI singles scored seven runs. Brown hit a sac fly in the fifth inning and drove in a run on an RBI single in the seventh to widen their lead.
Tech then took on New Mexico for a second time. The result was different this time. Tech won 6-0 behind a strong pitching performance from Johnson and moving Tech’s record to 4-5. Johnson gave up just three hits and struck out 12 hitters in seven innings of work. The first five innings were scoreless. Tech scored once in the sixth and added five more runs in the seventh inning.