Nashville, Tenn. -- Tennessee State returned home hoping to snap a six game losing streak that started after the last home game. Instead the streak grew to eight after dropping both ends of an Ohio Valley Conference double header to Eastern Illinois, 7-3 and 5-3.
In game one, EIU took the early lead with an unearned run in the second and another run in the third on three infield hits. The Tigers charged back in the bottom of the third to tie the score 2-2. Savannah Gutierrez and Jennifer Givens picked up back-to-back one out singles and each moved up a base on an Aisha Walker sacrifice bunt. The hot hitting Tedra Alford drove the first pitch she saw into left center scoring Gutierrez and Givens to tie the game.
It would not take Eastern Illinois long to break the tie as they put up a four spot in the top of the fourth. The Panthers were able to put pressure on starting pitcher Shea Morris (7-14) with four hits and a hit batter. EIU was clutch in the inning registering three of their four hits and the hits batsman with two strikes on the respected batters.
TSU tried to respond with Kelly Troglin and Ashley Haynes collecting hits to open in their half of the fourth, but the two were stranded to end the inning. The Tigers would claw a little closer in the fifth when Jordan Rehl dropped a base hit into left center to plate Alford, who reached of an EIU fielding error, cutting the lead in half. That would be as close as TSU would get as the Panthers added another run in the seventh to solidify the score at 7-3.
Stephanie Maday earned the win for Eastern Illinois improving to (10-8).
In game two, TSU used a Givens walk, a Walker hit and an Alford sacrifice bunt to set up their first run of the game. Givens would scamper home on a Hanna Mennenga wild pitch to give TSU an early 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, the Tigers took advantage of a Panther miscue as Kate Morris reached second on a dropped fly ball. After a Troglin sacrifice bunt moved (Kate) Morris to third, Ashley Haynes hit a sacrifice fly into right field allowing Morris to cross the plate for a 2-0 lead.
Tiger starter Susie Burke was solid in the circle surrendering seven hits and five runs, three earned. The senior hurler struck out three and did not allow a free pass as she took the loss and fell to 0-3. EIU saw their most success against Burke in the third inning scoring three runs on five hits to take the lead at 3-2.
Burke would retire the next seven batters before the Panthers were able to push across the two unearned runs in the sixth for a 5-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Devin Amar would get one back in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double off the fence in left center, scoring Walker from second base.
The Tigers continued to fight as they had the tying runs on base in the sixth and brought the tying run to plate in the seventh, only to see both chances get shutdown by Mennenga (9-4) and the Panthers.
The Tigers are now 3-13 in conference play and 10-25 overall, while the Panthers improved to 19-15 and 9-6 in the OVC. The two teams will play the finale of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at Tiger Field.