SOFTBALL SWEEPS WESTERN ILLINOIS
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State softball team (5-8, 0-0 OVC) opened up a four-day homestand, picking up two wins over visting Western Illinois (2-6) on Saturday afternoon at Tiger Field. The Tigers defeated the Westerwinds, 3-2, in the opener and shut them out in the nightcap, 3-0. In game one, Western Illinois was first on the scoreboard with two runs after Brooke Benson smashed a homerun to left field with a runner on first in the top of the second inning. Tennessee State answered back in the bottom of the same inning following the lead of sophomore Misty Adfield (Twin Falls, Idaho) who picked up her first stolen base of the day. Junior Sabrina Smiley (Eagle River, Alaska) reached first on a bunt and she was followed by sophomore Amanda Buhler (Twin Falls, Idaho) whose single sent Adfield over the plate. The Tigers held Western Illinois scoreless for the rest of the game and picked up one run in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, including a double by Smiley, to give them the 3-2 victory. In game two, TSU pitchers senior Alana Thomas (Bristol, Va.) and sophomore Justine Jontz (Hendersonville, Tenn.) led the Tiger defensive effort, collectively allowing only three hits and collecting two strikeouts. Tennessee State turned up the heat in the bottom of fourth inning after both teams could not get a player home. Bunting was the name of the game as two of three batters (junior Caryn Barber and senior Shannon Hicks) got on base with shallow slaps. Freshman Hollie Sanders (Columbia, Tenn.) sent a double to center field, scoring Hicks and senior Catriona Smith (Marion, N.C.), who had reached first on a fielder's choice. With two outs on the board, Adfield singled to right center to send pinch running rookie MaSherrl Conyer (Pine Bluff, Ark.), making the score 3-0 in favor of Tennessee State. Allowing only one hit additional hit, TSU held on for its first shutout of the season. The Tigers return to action on Tuesday at Tiger Field as they host Middle Tennessee State for a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.