Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee State needed two wins today against Tennessee Tech to stay in the race for the final spot of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Tigers dropped a heartbreaker 7-5 and was not able to regroup in a 7-3 loss. The Tigers fall to 14-33, 5-16 in the OVC, while TTU improved to 21-25, 10-10 in conference.
TSU outhit the Golden Eagles 12-7 in game one, but missed scoring opportunities as they left 11 runners on base. TTU took advantage of three Tiger errors to score five unearned runs to solidify the win. The Golden Eagles turned the tables in game two out hitting TSU 12-7, but still used three Tiger errors to score six unearned runs for a comfortable win.
Jennifer Givens led the way for TSU with six hits on the day. The senior was 4-for-5 in game one with two runs and three stolen bases. Givens closed out the day with a 2-for-3 performance with a triple and a run scored.
With the Tigers trailing 1-0, Givens and Kiarra Freeman accomplished what they have done many times throughout the season. The lead-off duo led off with back-to-back singles and proceeded to steal second and third. Givens scored a batter later on a ground out by Kacie Daugherty to even the score at 1-1. Lindsey Burgess followed with a ground out to the pitcher allowing Freeman to score for an early 2-1 lead.
TTU picked up four runs in the second and two in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead. TSU would fight to get back into the game in the bottom of the fourth as they loaded the bases on a Kate Morris single, a Brianna Roberts walk and a Givens single. The Tigers scratched a run across on a single up the middle by Daugherty, but failed to do anymore damage as Burgess lined into a double play to end the inning leaving two runners on base.
TSU trailed 7-2 in the fifth as Audrey Sensing led off with a single to right and advanced to third on a ground out and a wild pitch. Morris picked up her second hit of the game with a double to left center that pushed Sensing across home plate to cut the lead to 7-4 after five innings of play.
Givens was at it again to lead off the sixth. Givens stole second base after her fourth hit of the game. Two batters later, Givens crossed the plate on a groundout by Burgess making the score 7-5. Tayler Shimizu laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Tedra Alford and Morris into scoring position after each earned walks in the seventh. The two would be stranded on base as TTU retired Givens for the first time in five attempts.
Olivia Gamache was tagged with the loss and is now 4-16 after giving up five runs, two earned, on six hits in two innings of work. Shea Morris pitched five innings of relief surrendering just one hit and two unearned runs, while striking out four.
In the night cap, Morris (10-17) was touched for 12 hits and issued a walk in seven full innings. Only one of the seven runs was earned as she fanned four Tech batters.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead as Givens led off the bottom of the first with a triple to left center. She came home a batter later on a Freeman grounded out. Tech responded in their next half inning with two runs and added one in the fourth and four in the sixth.
TTU pitcher Taylor Ketchum retired 13 consecutive Tigers after the leadoff triple to Givens. Sensing would break the string with a single to left with one out in the fifth, but TSU could not take advantage of their second hit of the game.
In the sixth, Shimizu opened the bottom of the inning with a pinch-hit single to centerfield and moved to third on the sixth and final hit on the day for Givens. Freeman chased Shimizu home on a single to center making the score 7-2.
Ashley Haynes drove in Alford with a triple to right center in the seventh for the final run of the game. Ketchum (14-10) recorded her fourth strikeout to end the game.
TSU will conclude the season with a three-game series with Belmont on May 4-5 at Tiger Field.