Jacksonville, Ala. - The Tigers fell behind early once again and could not recover as they dropped the final game of the Ohio Valley Conference series on Sunday afternoon. Jacksonville State solidified the series sweep with a 5-0 win at University Field. TSU starts conference play 0-3 and is now 9-19 overall. JSU improved to 16-10, 3-0 in the OVC.
The Tigers ran into trouble early as an error allowed the Gamecocks to score three unearned in the bottom of the first. JSU continued to add to their lead as they added runs in the third and the sixth.
TSU started to chip away at Tiffany Harbin, who held them hitless in game one of the series. Kiarra Freeman was the first to get to Harbin with a two-hop single to short in the third inning giving TSU two runners on base with two outs. But JSU held tight, as they did all day.
Trailing 4-0 in the sixth inning, Freeman recorded her second single of the game with a high hopper to third that gave her enough time to out run the play. Ashley Haynes followed with a shot down the right field line that just stayed fair and found its way into the corner. Freeman sprinted around the bases and slid into home ahead of the throw, for what seemed to be the Tigers first run of the game. The catcher moved Freeman off the plate and applied the tag as was called out for not reaching home.
The play seemed to take the wind out of the sails for TSU as Haynes was stranded at third. Kate Morris and Tayler Shimizu tried one more time to give a boost to the Tiger offense with back-to-back one out singles in the seventh, but to no avail. Tiffany Harbin would record strikeouts number 10 and 11 on the day to close out the game.
Olivia Gamache went the distance for TSU surrendering just two earned runs on 11 hits and two walks. The junior fell to 3-10 on the season.
The Tigers return home next weekend for a pair of OVC cross-divisional double header. Saturday's twin bill is against UT Martin, while TSU will host Southeast Missouri State on Sunday. Both days have first pitch slated for 1:00 pm. All games can be heard live on tsutigers.com.
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