Irondale, Ala. - Tennessee State used the long ball to earn a split on the second day of the Tiny Lassiter HBCU Classic. The Tigers endured wind chill temperatures of 28 degrees and snow throughout the day as they slugged their way past Maryland-Eastern Shore 11-1 in five innings before going dropping the night cap, 8-4, to Savannah State.
Audrey Sensing continued her hot weekend with her second straight three hit game as she blasted her first two collegiate home runs in the first contest. She added a double in her final at bat versus SSU and finished the day with five RBI and a stolen base.
Jayna Hanawahine hit her second home run of the season in the first game against UMES and just missed another by six inches in game two. Her second hit was good for a double.
Shea Morris (2-6) took to the circle in game one and allowed just one unearned run. Morris fanned six batters over five innings and was touched for just three hits and one walk.
The Tigers took full advantage of the pitching performance as they scored at least one run in each inning. Kiarra Freeman worked her way around the bases in the first inning by reaching on a single and immediately stealing second. After a wild pitch moved her to third, Freeman scored easily on a sacrifice fly by Kacie Daugherty making the score 1-0.
TSU would explode for seven runs before an out was recorded in the second inning. Jennifer Givens got things started with a ball into centerfield allowing Tayler Shimizu and Kate Morris to score. Two batters later, Kacie Daugherty hit a drive into left center that was cut off before getting to the fence. The speed of Freeman allowed the freshman to score from first, just behind Givens and Brianna Roberts. Sensing would cap off the inning with the first of her two blasts that pushed Daugherty home and an 8-0 Tiger lead.
UMES scored their lone run in the second inning, but TSU wasted no time getting it back as Givens would take advantage of a passed ball in the third inning to make the score 9-1. Hanawahine's line drive home run to left in the fourth and Sensing's towering blast to center in the fifth closed out the run count for TSU.
Savannah State used nine hits, seven walks and four Tiger errors to get the best of pitcher Olivia Gamache (1-5). The Exeter, R.I., product struck out two and was tagged with just two earned runs.
TSU found themselves down 5-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth inning. The Tigers would start to chip away at the lead as Hanawahine led off with the double off the fence in center and scored on a two out single off the bat of Lindsay Burgess. Sensing's two out double to right in the fifth brought home Roberts and inched TSU closer to Savannah State.
In the sixth, Kate Morris hit the first home run of her career with a hard line drive over the left field fence. The long ball cut the SSU lead to 5-3, but the comeback was put on hold as the orange and blue Tigers picked up three of their own runs in the top of the seventh to extend the lead back to five at 8-3.
TSU would mount another comeback in the bottom half of the seventh by loading the bases with no outs on a walk by Roberts and back-to-back singles by Givens and Freeman. Sensing notched her second RBI of the game bringing home Roberts on a fielder's choice to the shortstop making the score 8-4. That would be as close as the Tigers would get as Maddison Hedderly retired the next three Tigers in order.
Givens extended her hit streak to six games as she ended the day 4-for-5 with a walk, a sacrifice, two runs scored and two RBI. Freeman was 3-for-7 on the afternoon and upped her hitting streak to five games. The freshman outfielder was credited with a sacrifice and crossed home plate twice.
The Tigers will play the final two games of the classic on Sunday beginning at 11:30 am versus Hampton. The finale scheduled for 1:30 pm will pit TSU against South Carolina State. Both games can be heard live on tsutigers.com.