SOFTBALL FINISHES THIRD AT ALABAMA A&M TOURNAMENT
NORMAL, Ala. --- The Tennessee State softball team (3-8, 0-0 OVC) went 1-2 over the weekend at the Alabama A&M Bulldog Classic. The Tigers dropped games to Ohio Valley Conference rival Samford, 4-1, and Florida A&M, 2-1, while defeating host-Alabama A&M, 2-1. On Saturday, Tennessee State took on Samford. Sophomore Justine Jontz (Hendersonville, Tenn.) threw her first game of the season and recorded five strikeouts. TSU was the first to score in the game behind a double by freshman Hollie Sanders (Columbia, Tenn.) that sent senior Catriona Smith (Marion, N.C.) over the plate. A strong Tiger defensive effort that had kept Samford off the scoreboard saw them finally convert hits in the bottom of the sixth inning. A triple sent two Bulldogs over the plate and set the wheels in motion as another two players would score before the third out. Samford would hold on for the 4-1 win. On Sunday, Tennessee State took on tournament host Alabama A&M. The Tigers were the first to score in the top of the first inning when a single by senior Shannon Hicks (Smyrna, Tenn.) sent junior Caryn Barber (Santa Rosa, Calif.) home. TSU would hold the Bulldogs scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when a single to right field sent an Alabama A&M player over the plate, knotting the game at 1-1. Tennessee State fired back in the next inning, sending Hicks home from a single into left field by sophomore Joy Thompson (Blytheville, Ark.) and managed to hold on for the 2-1 win. In Sunday's nightcap, Tennessee State faced off against eventual tournament champion, Florida A&M. The Rattlers, who scored in the bottom of the first and fifth innings, managed to keep the Tigers off the board until the top of the sixth. Sanders and Smith combined for another run but it was not enough as FAMU held on for the 2-1 win. For their efforts over the weekend, Hollie Sanders and Shannon Hicks were named to the All-Tournament team. The Tigers return to action on March 6 as they host Western Illinois at Tiger Field. The doubleheader is set to begin at 1 p.m.