CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Tigers used a furious comeback in the seventh inning of game two at Austin Peay to earn a split on Sunday. Tennessee State earned a 12-11 win in nine innings after dropping game one 2-0. TSU is 14-20 on the season and 2-4 in Ohio Valley Conference play, APSU is 14-15 and 3-3.
The 12 runs in game two is the most runs scored by the Tigers since the start of the 2011 season, head coach Jeff Dabney’s first season. TSU also recorded 20 hits in the nightcap, the most hits in a game since 2001.
Sophomores Kiarra Freeman and Jayna Hanawahine led the charge as they tied a school record for most hits in a game, four. Freeman finished 4-for-5 with a walk, three runs scored and two RBI, while Hanawahine was 4-for-6 with two runs scored and a double.
Kate Morris added three hits, while Rebekka Gross, Ashley Haynes, Liz Stansberry and Courtney Gearlds each chipped in two knocks. Tayler Shimizu recorded the final hit for the Tigers.
The two teams traded blows throughout the game as the Lady Govs built an 8-4 lead heading into the seventh inning. With APSU on the verge of completing the sweep, the Tigers charged back with five runs in the top of the last inning of regulation. The inning started with Hanawahine ripping a double off the fence in leftfield and was followed with a single by Kate Morris. Gross picked up the third straight hit for TSU and drove in her third run of the game as Hanawahine crossed home plate. Haynes singled to bring home Morris and moved to second on a wild pitch. Shimizu walked on four straight pitches to load the bases to set up an RBI grounder by Stransberry to bring the Tigers within a run of Austin Peay.
Trailing 8-7, Freeman came through with a clutch two-out single to score Stansberry and Gearlds to put TSU on top 9-8.
Shea Morris entered the game in the seventh in relief of Hannah St. Clair who went the first six innings and surrendered eight runs, four earned. Morris entered the week number one in the nation in saves with five. But TSU could not hold the lead as they committed an error with two outs, allowing the Lady Govs to tie the game and force extra innings.
With two outs in the eighth, Stansberry hit a ball into leftfield that fell between two APSU defenders for a two-run double, chasing Gross and Haynes home to take a 11-9 lead. Once again, Austin Peay tied the game by taking advantage of a Tiger miscue to score two more unearned runs.
The Tigers secured the win in the ninth as Kate Morris picked up a two-out RBI single to plate Freeman. Shea Morris retired the Lady Govs in order in the bottom half of the inning and improved to 8-7. Morris was touched for one hit in three innings of work.
The two games were stark opposites as the night cap saw 23 runs, 33 hits and took just over three hours. In game one, Morris and Lauren de Castro engaged in a pitcher’s duel that APSU would win 2-0 in an hour and a half.
The Tigers missed out on many opportunities as they left seven runners on base, six in scoring position. APSU took advantage of their opportunity as de Castro helped her cause by delivering a two-run single in the third. The senior pitcher made the score hold up as she scattered six hits. de Castro earned the win and was tagged for the loss in game two and is now 9-7.
Lindsey Burgess was 2-for-4, as Freeman, Kate Morris, Hanawahine and Gross all recorded hits in the game one loss.
TSU returns home for a three-game series on Mar. 29-30 against Jacksonville State. A double header is scheduled for Saturday with a single game on Sunday. A 1:00pm start time is set for both days.