Otahkians stay alive in OVC tourney

Friday, May 9, 2003

Southeast defeats Austin Peay before losing to top-seeded Tennessee Tech.

Southeast Missourian

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- After sliding by No. 5 Austin Peay in its opening game of the Ohio Valley Conference softball tournament Thursday, Southeast Missouri State University was shut out 4-0 by top-seeded host Tennessee Tech in the nightcap.

With the loss the fourth-seeded Otahkians will face No. 3 Tennessee-Martin at 9 a.m. today, needing a win to stave off elimination. Martin lost its opening game to No. 6 Eastern Illinois 6-3.

The Otahkians (16-28) managed only two hits off Tennessee Tech (39-14) starter Lori Bayless. Bayless pitched a complete game, striking out six and walking four. Southeast only had two players in scoring position the entire game. Senior Brooke Nett and center fielder Amy Murphy provided Southeast's two hits. Jessica Hunter picked up the loss but only allowed one run in two innings.

In the opener the Otahkians used a run in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 5-4 win over Austin Peay. Southeast trailed 3-1 after four innings before the bats came to life. Alana Bagby-Leonard came up with a key two-out double in the fifth inning to tie the score at three. Southeast scored another two-out run in the sixth, to take the lead.

Austin Peay's Amy Hale started the seventh by reaching on an error. Hale scored on a two-out double by Brianna Venable, before Jessica Hunter came in the game to record the final out of the seventh and keep the game tied at four. Southeast's Brooke Nett led off the bottom half of the inning with a single and scored the game-winner on a fielder's choice.

Kate Groden and Nett led the Otahkians with three hits on the day. Bagby-Leonard and Murphy had two hits apiece. Lyndsey Webb added two RBIs.

In other opening action, Eastern Illinois faced No. 2 Eastern Kentucky in a late game Thursday night. The winner will face Tennessee Tech today while the loser will square off against Austin Peay.

  • Southeast had two players receive all-conference honors as the Ohio Valley Conference handed out its post-season awards Thursday. Senior Brooke Nett was Southeast's lone first team member. The senior received second team honors last season. Sophomore Kelly Birk received second-team honors. Tennessee Tech's Stephanie Dallmann was named the OVC player of the year.

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