Nashville, Tenn. -Tennessee State took advantage of some costly mistakes by Morehead State in game one to earn a split in a Saturday afternoon Ohio Valley Conference double header at Tiger Field. TSU (12-36, 5-22) used a five-run second inning to propel them to a 6-3 victory, before dropping the back end of the double dip 8-2.
MSU (13-33, 6-18) opened the scoring in the first with a bases empty two-out rally. Stephanie Etter parlayed a hit by pitch into the first run of the game on back-to-back singles by Amber Riddle and Elizabeth Wagner. The lead lasted for an inning as the Tigers scored five runs on three hits and two Eagle errors in the second.
Kate Morris used a bases loaded single into left field to plate Savannah Gutierrez and tie the game at 1-1. TSU took a 3-1 lead a batter later on a throwing error off an Aisha Walker ground ball that allowed Kelly Troglin and Ashley Haynes to score. Two batters later Jennifer Givens dropped a bunt in front of home plate for an RBI single. Kate Morris broke for home after the bunt was down and scored without a play increasing the lead to 4-1. Walker would sprint home a few pitchers later on a passed ball making the score 5-1.
The Eagles got a run back in the top of the third as Amber Riddle legged out a two-out infield single. The hustle of Riddle allowed Adrena Anderson to score cutting the lead to 5-2. The Tigers would get the run back, and once again extend the lead to four runs, in the fourth as Tedra Alford scored on a wild pitch.
Morehead would get another picked up another run in the seventh off starter Shea Morris to make the final 6-3. The freshman pitcher earned the win and improved to 9-21 as she picked up five strikeouts to give her 170 on the season.
During the game, Givens stole two bases to increase her season total to 33. With the second swipe she broke the TSU single season record of 32 set by Jennifer Culberson in 2009.
Riddle was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk, a double and two RBI in game one. Katie Pfost took the loss for the Eagles and is now 4-14. Pfost picked up seven punch outs while giving up just two earned runs.
Morehead State opened the scoring in the first inning once again. They used a hit by pitch, a stolen base and two singles to take the early 2-0 lead. The Eagles created a comfortable lead in the third with five runs on five hits and a hit by pitch. Kara Arceneaux picked up the big blow with a two-run single to keep the Eagles rolling.
Givens put the Tigers on the board in the bottom of the third with a hard line drive single into left field that brought home Haynes, who had led off the inning with a walk. MSU would get out of the inning by turning a double play ending the Tigers threat to close the gap.
MSU relief pitcher Jami Whitcomb and Tigers reliever Susie Burke would cruise for the next three innings as they each allowed just one base runner. But in the seventh MSU once again went on the attack collecting three hits, including an RBI single to center off the bat of Jamie Massaro, making the score 8-1.
In the bottom of the inning, Gutierrez led off the inning with her first career triple as she drove a ball to the right field fence. Troglin followed with a single over the head of Whitcomb that would bring home Gutierrez making the score 8-2. The MSU defense would once again stand tall as centerfielder Elizabeth Wagner fielded the ball off a Kate Morris single and throw home to Massaro to cut down Tayler Shimizu at the plate. The Eagles would close out the game a batter later giving Whitcomb (6-6) the win and Tiger starter Olivia Gamache (2-7) the loss.
The Tigers will celebrate senior day prior to the 1:00 p.m. start of the series finale with Morehead State. Coverage via live blog from Tiger Field will begin around 12:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon.