Nashville, Tenn. - Clutch hitting and strong pitching was the recipe for Tennessee State to post a double header sweep of Alabama A&M at Tiger Field on Wednesday night. The Tigers posted a 5-0 shutout in game one and followed it up with a 5-4 victory in the night cap.
Freshman hurler Shea Morris earned both wins on the night. In game one, Morris earned her second shutout of the season as she tossed a complete game one-hitter, with seven strikeouts and two walks. The Lawrenceburg, Tenn., native entered game two with the score tied in the sixth with a runner on base and no outs. Morris would strikeout the side to end the threat and fanned three in the seventh to give her teammates an opportunity to score the win. Morris did not allow a walk or a hit in the two innings of work and is now 11-21.
Sophomore Aisha Walker gathered two hits in the opener and registered three for an encore to finish the night 5-for-7. Walker scored a run in each game, including the game winner to end the night and send Tiger fans home happy. Devin Amar was 2-for-6 on the night, but made her at bats count as she drove in four runners over the twin bill.
Amar delivered a clutch two-out double in the third inning to give the Tigers all they would need to pick up the first win. She would also push the final Tiger run across on a ground out in the fifth.
In the third, Ashley Haynes earned her first of three hits on the night and moved to second as Tedra Alford reached on a fielder's choice. That would set the stage for Amar's double to right center and the early 2-0 lead. In the fifth, the Tigers opened with three consecutive hits by Walker, Haynes and Alford, the final driving home Walker. Jennifer Givens and Amar followed with RBI ground outs to plate Haynes and then Alford for the deciding 5-0 score.
Game two was a back and forth battle early on with the Tigers striking the first blow in the second. TSU manufactured the first run with a Savannah Gutierrez single, a Kelly Troglin sacrifice bunt, and a Haynes ground out that moved Gutierrez to third. Then it was about the hustle of senior Brittany Davis who hit a ball that sent the Bulldogs shortstop to her backhand. Davis exploded out of the box and beat the throw to first allowing Gutierrez to touch the plate for a 1-0 TSU lead.
AAMU scratched back with a run of their own in the third. Starter Susie Burke looked to be out of the inning with a strikeout, but the ball got away from Amar. The throw to first would get away just enough for the Bulldogs to tie the game on an unearned run. Burke would settle back in and pick up another punch out to close out the top of the inning.
Alford put the Tigers back in business with a leadoff triple to left center. Two batters, Amar drove one through the left side to send Alford home to regain the lead. But again, Alabama A&M came right back with a run in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2.
The bottom of the inning saw TSU come right back with singles by Troglin, Haynes and Davis, who once again legged out an infield hit. Tayler Shimizu and Alford would team up with back-to-back sacrifice flies to leftfield bringing home two more runs and once again the lead.
Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs scored two in the top of the fifth to square the score up for the third time in the game. The game stayed tied at 4-4 as Morris and the Bulldogs game one starter, Anisa Britt, entered to stabilize the game.
But the Tigers would not allow the game move to extra innings as they took charge in the seventh. Walker's fifth hit of the night was a high chopper to short that gave the lefty speedster a chance to get down the line just in front of the throw. Walker moved to third as a throw from an Amar sacrifice bunt would get away.
After Jordan Rehl reached to load the bases, Gutierrez wasted no time as she ripped the first pitch she saw into right field for an RBI single. Walker scampered home to give the Tigers their second home double header sweep of the season.
Burke got the no-decision with five innings of work. The senior pitcher scattered seven hits and two walks over her time in the circle. Burke fanned four batters in her final appearance at Tiger Field.
TSU improved their season record to 14-37 while dropping AAMU to 12-25.
The Tigers will close out the regular season with an OVC series at SIU-Edwardsville. Saturday's double header and Sunday's single game are both scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.
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