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Tigers Travel to Arizona to Face Three Top 25 Teams

Courtesy: Tennessee State Sports Information  
Release: 02/12/2014
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LIVE STREAMING | LIVE STATS vs. #5 Arizona State
LIVE STREAMING | LIVE STATS at Hillenbrand Invitational
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After playing the opening weekend in 20-30 degree temperatures, the Tennessee State softball will travel to the Valley of the Sun. The Tigers will open play this week with winners of five of the last eight National Championships.
TSU plays a single game on Thursday, Feb. 13 against 2008 and 2011 title winners, Arizona State. The Tigers then travel to Tucson to take part in the three-day Hillenbrand Classic. On Friday, TSU starts play against 2006 and 2007 champion, and 2010 runner-up, Arizona, before squaring off against 2012 champions, Alabama. Grand Canyon and New Mexico are the opponents for Tennessee State on Saturday, Feb. 15 and conclude play on Sunday versus Georgia Tech.
The Tigers have just one game played against their six opponents this week. TSU and Alabama have squared off in the fall season, but have never been on the same field during the spring season. This marks the first time TSU has played Arizona, Arizona State, Grand Canyon and New Mexico. The Big Blue and Georgia Tech played their lone encounter in 2004.
LIVE action can be heard for all TSU games on TSUTigers.com. Games from the Hillenbrand Invitational will be streamed on Pac12.com.
The Tigers opened 2014 on a winning note topping East Tennessee State 3-2. Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, TSU received back-to-back singles by Ashley Haynes and Lindsey Burgess to begin a two-out rally. Kate Morris completed the comeback with a three-run bomb to left center. Pitcher Shea Morris worked the final 3.2 innings to earn the win allowing one hit, while fanning six batters.
Morris collected 10 more punch-outs in a loss to Lipscomb and has reached 401 strikeouts in her career. The junior hurler became the second pitcher in school history to eclipse the 400 mark.
TSU dropped three consecutive games to #32 Virginia Tech, Lipscomb and Miami (Ohio), respectively, to finish the weekend 1-3. Sophomores Jayna Hanawahine and Lindsey Burgess each posted their first home run of the season against Lipscomb.
#5 Arizona State (6-0)
2013 Record: 50-12
Conference: Pac-12
2013 Finish: 16-8/2nd
Series Record: First Meeting
Last Time Played: N/A
Last Win: N/A
ASU swept through six games at the Kajikawa Classic by outscoring their opponents 48-3. Cheyenne Coyle and Alix Johnson are atop the stat sheet for the Sun Devils who are hitting .430 as a team. Coyle is batting .563 with seven runs, three doubles, three long balls, 11 RBI, four walks and three stolen bases. Dallas Escobedo and Mackenzie Popescue form a two-member pitching staff. Escobedo fanned 32 batters and has surrendered just four hits in 19 innings compiling a 3-0 record with two shutouts and a 0.37 ERA. Popescue is 3-0 and has yet to allow an earned run in 16 innings of work.
#22 Arizona (3-0)
2013 Record: 33-26
Conference: Pac-12
2013 Finish: 9-15/7th
Series Record: First Meeting
Last Time Played: N/A
Last Win: N/A
Arizona swept Southern Mississippi in a three-game series in Tucson on the opening weekend. The Wildcats hit .514 as a team and feature seven batters over .500. Courtney Rodriguez went 6-for-7 (.857) with six runs scored, while Hallie Wilson was 4-for-5 (.800) with five walks and seven runs scored. The five-member pitching staff combined for a 0.93 ERA and held USM to a .137 average.
#4 Alabama (5-0)
2013 Record: 45-15
Conference: SEC
2013 Finish: 13-11/7th
Series Record: First Meeting
Last Time Played: N/A
Last Win: N/A
The Crimson Tide opened the 2014 season by outscoring their opponents 48-3 at the Troy Subway Invitational. Alabama hit .360 as a team and was led by Haylie McCleney (.571) and Peyton Grantham (.561). McCleney collected a triple, a home run and eight RBI. The sophomore led the team with eight runs, two doubles, five walks and five stolen bases. Danae Hayes batted .444 with a team leading three long balls and nine RBI. In the circle, the Bama staff held opponents to a .109 average and posted a 0.47 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 30 innings. Jackie Traina (0.64) and Leslie Jury (0.00) each finished 2-0.
Grand Canyon (2-3)
2013 Record: 40-19
Conference: Pacific West (D-II)
2013 Finish: 22-10/4th
Series Record: First Meeting
Last Time Played: N/A
Last Win: N/A
The Lopes went 2-3 at the Red Desert Classic, dropping games to East Carolina (8-4), Weber State (5-2) and Idaho State (10-8). Grand Canyon picked up their first wins as a provisional D-I team, against Utah State (5-3) and Southern Utah (7-3). Grand Canyon was led by Camree Wartman (.400) and Kelsey Barak (.389) at the plate. Barak scored six times, hit a double and hit a solo bomb. Stephani Pesqueira was 2-for-3 in two games played with a double, a home run and five RBI. Pesqueira was solid in the circle for Grand Canyon finishing 1-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 12 innings of work.
New Mexico (1-4)
2013 Record: 21-35
Conference: Mountain West
2013 Finish: 3-15/7th
Series Record: First Meeting
Last Time Played: N/A
Last Win: N/A
New Mexico finished 1-4 at the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State to kick-off the season. UNM outscored UC-Riverside 11-10, while dropping games to #7 Arizona State (9-0), #24 California (8-2), Northwestern (10-0) and Portland State (10-0). Sophomore Naomi Tellez is off to a hot start going 7-for-11 (.636) at the plate with a double, a triple and three runs batted in. Carrie Sheehan finished 1-1 in 13.1 innings and appeared in all five games during the opening tournament.
Georgia Tech (2-1)
2013 Record: 25-30
Conference: ACC
2013 Finish: 10-10/5th
Series Record: 0-1
Last Time Played: 2004, Lost 0-4
Last Win: N/A
The Yellow Jackets opened the season by hosting Missouri State in a three-game series. Georgia Tech grabbed the first and third games of the series by hitting .282 as a team scoring 13 runs with two doubles and four home runs. Senior Ashley Thomas led the team in hitting in 2013 and has started as she left off with five hits in nine at bats for a .556 batting average. Thomas hit two solo-home runs and stole two bases on the weekend. Junior Kylie Kleinschmidt led GT in the circle with a pair of wins and a 0.50 ERA. Kleinschmidt recorded a shutout and struck out 12 in 14 innings pitched.


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