Stephen Duke, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State softball team picked up two crucial wins Tuesday night as they navigate their final season in the Ohio Valley Conference, defeating the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles by scores of 5-1 and 2-0.
The Gamecocks didn’t allow an earned run in either game, with Reagan Watkins striking nine out and Nicole Rodriguez pitching a two-hit shutout. Both Watkins and Rodriguez pitched one game each.
In the first game of the series, the Gamecocks trailed 1-0 until Megan Fortner hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning. Watkins held off Tennessee Tech’s offense, allowing her offense to get the spark they needed.
In the home half of the sixth inning, with bases loaded, Karsen Mosley hit a two-run double to push the Gamecocks’ lead to 3-1. Alex Howard then hit sacrifice fly to bring Ellie Large home.
An overthrow by the Golden Eagles’ left fielder enabled Mosley to make her way home for a 5-1 Gamecock lead, which is where the score would stay. In the seventh, Watkins struck two batters out.
The Gamecocks continued to have the momentum in the second game. Jada Terry had a two-out walk, moving to third after the Tennessee Tech center fielder muffed Alexus Jimmerson’s single base hit.
Mosley hit a single to left field for an early 1-0 lead. Rodriguez held the Golden Eagle batters scoreless. Another miscue by the Golden Eagles in the sixth inning, which enabled Mosley to score, led to a 2-0 Gamecock lead.
When all was said and done, Rodriguez had retired her final 11 batters, striking out three. In addition, she had a perfect seventh inning.
Up next for the Gamecocks is a three-game series with Murray State. The series starts Friday at 1 p.m. with a doubleheader, and a single game on Saturday at 1 p.m. All games can be seen on ESPN+.