Nashville, Tenn. - A rain delay of close to two hours slowed down Tennessee State, who had jumped out to lead quickly on Tennessee Tech Saturday afternoon at Tiger Field. TTU charged back after the delay and posted a 5-3 Ohio Valley Conference victory over TSU in game one. The second game was not started due to uncertainty of the forecast, creating a double header on Sunday.
The Tigers are now 9-16 on the season and 2-4 in conference play. TTU improved to 10-17, 3-6 in the OVC.
After leaving the bases loaded in the second, the Tigers pounced in the third for three runs. With one out, Savannah Gutierrez slapped a ball just passed a drawn in Brittany Spalding at third. Tedra Alford would then receive the first of her three walks of the day and advanced Gutierrez to second. Devin Amar would deliver her second hit of the day, a double to right center, to push Gutierrez across home for the early 1-0 lead.
Alford would score two pitches later on a Holly Thomas wild pitch making the score 2-0. TSU picked up their third and final run off the bat of Jordan Rehl. The freshman was retired on a ground out to second, but the ball was able to stay out of the hands of Cassie Garrett at second base long enough to allow Amar to race home from third.
In the first four innings, Shea Morris held the Golden Eagles to one hit and one walk, while striking out six. The rain started to fall at the end of the fourth and TTU opened with a lead-off double by Brittany Spalding. One pitch later the skies opened up and the field was tarped as the two teams sat for an hour and 47 minutes.
Tennessee Tech attacked as soon as play resumed with two hits and the help of one Tiger error to cut the lead to 3-2. Morris would get the next two batters to pop up, but committed a throwing error on the next batter to allow the tying run to score and giving TTU a runner in scoring position.
Brooke Basten would make the pitchers error hurt with a 0-2 single into right center that brought home Melody Christian for the Golden Eagles first lead of the game at 4-3. TTU would add another run in the sixth on a passed ball with two outs. The fifth run for Tennessee Tech came two pitches before Morris could record the final out via her ninth punch out.
TSU would get a runner on in each of the two final innings, but could not advance either from first base.
Shea Morris finished the game with ten strike outs, tying a career best set earlier this season versus Campbell. The freshman surrendered seven hits, two walks and just one earned run as she fell to 6-9.
Morris has 102 strike outs on the season and becomes just the third pitcher, and the fourth time, in Tiger history to reach the century mark in a season. Amanda Vaught fanned 261 in 2007 and 177 in 2008; Caitlin Eaton recorded 130 in 2009.
Holly Thomas improves to 7-8 allowing four hits and seven walks. Thomas caught five Tigers looking at strike three and picked up three more on the swing and miss.
Amar was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, a run and an RBI, to go along with Rehl who was 1-for-3 and an RBI.
Gutierrez finished 1-for-4 and has now picked up a hit in seven of the last eight games. Fellow freshman Tayler Shimizu walked in the fourth inning, extending her streak of reaching base to seven games.
The Sunday double header is slated to begin at 12 noon at Tiger Field. You can follow all the action through live blog on tsutigers.com.