NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State softball dropped a pair of games on day two of the Music City Classic. The Tigers fell 5-0 to #32 Virginia Tech before being outscored 10-2 in six innings by host Lipscomb. TSU is now 1-2 on the season.
In the first game, VT pitcher Maggie Tyler held TSU at bay allowing just three hits and two walks as she earned a shutout over the Tigers. Jayna Hanawahine was the first Tiger to reach base with a leadoff single in the fourth, but was stranded on second as the inning ended.
With one out in the fifth and trailing 2-0, the Tigers tried to mount a comeback. Kiarra Freeman reached on a walk, but was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice by Tayler Shimizu. Courtney Gearlds followed with a single over the third base giving the Tigers runners on first and second. Once again, Tyler was able to thwart the Tiger attack as she struck out pinch hitter Carmen Hill.
In the sixth, TSU used an Ashley Haynes single and a Kate Morris walk to once again threaten the Hokies, but again, Tyler was able to end the threat by retiring Becca Gross.
Olivia Gamache (0-1) suffered the loss despite a solid performance in the circle. The senior allowed four hits and two runs, both earned, while striking out six in five innings of work. Freshman Hannah St. Clair saw her first action as a Tiger, throwing the final two innings. St. Clair allowed three runs, two earned, off five hits.
In the nightcap, the Tigers and Bison battled for five and a half innings before the home team was able to pull away for the six inning victory. Sophomores Hanawahine and Lindsey Burgess delivered no-doubt home runs to keep the Tigers in the hunt. Hanawahine’s solo shot even the score at 1-1 in the top of the third, while Burgess brought TSU to within one, 3-2, in the top half of the fifth.
Shea Morris (1-1) picked up the loss as she went the distance and was tagged for 15 hits and 10 runs, eight earned. Over half the hits came after the Tigers had an opportunity to get out of the fifth inning unharmed, but the extended inning allowed Lipscomb to find holes and extend the lead to 8-2. Morris finished the night with 10 strikeouts raising her career total to 401, making her the second pitcher in TSU history to cross the 400 mark. The Lawrenceburg native sits 38 punch-outs away from passing Amanda Vaught (2007-08) for the top spot on the career list.
Freshman Rebekka Gross and transfer Carmen Hill registered their first hits in a Tiger uniform during the night game, while Gearlds earned her third hit in as many games.
Tennessee State will close out play at the Music City Classic with a 10:30am game on Sunday versus Miami (Ohio). The contest will be played at Rose Park and can be heard live on TSUTigers.com.