TIGER SOFTBALL RALLIES TO SPLIT WITH TENNESSEE TECH
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State Tiger softball team traveled East in search of a pair of Ohio Valley Conference wins over interstate rival Tennessee Tech. However, the afternoon did not turn out as anticipated as TSU split with the Golden Eagles in the first half of a three-game set. The Tigers were defeated in the opener, 8-1, and took the nightcap in extra innings, 1-0. Game one saw the Golden Eagles jump out to an early lead at the bottom of the first inning after getting the lead-off batter, Lori Bayless, on base with a walk. A center field single by Kacy Bennett scored Tennessee Tech's first run of the day. Back-to-back singles by Krystina Dobbs and Tia Brenning crossed two more runners over the plate, giving TTU the 3-0 lead. After a quick three-up-three-down second inning on both sides, Tennessee Tech put two more runs on the board, going up 5-0. Extending their odd-numbered inning scoring streak, the Golden Eagles notched one more run in the bottom of the sixth to take the 8-1 vicotry. The Tigers came alive in the second game of the doubleheader. Led by sophomore pitcher Justine Jontz (Hendersonville, Tenn.), Tennessee State held the Golden Eagles to only four hits over 10 innings of play. Jontz, who improved to 6-8 on the season, threw the entire game and collected five strikeouts in the contest. The teams went scoreless through the first nine innings of play before the international tiebreaker was used to decide the contest. In the top of the 10th, with senior Alana Thomas (Bristol, Va.) placed on second, junior Misty Adfield (Twin Falls, Idaho) singled deep to right field, scoring the first and only run of the game. In Tennessee Tech's half of the inning, after Bennett was placed on second base, the next batter was walked. The quick hands of rookie catcher Hollie Sanders (Columbia, Tenn.) snatched away a chance to advance the runner on an attempted sacrifice bunt by Samantha Lovelady. Jontz struck out the third batter and freshman Nitisha McWherter (Paris, Tenn.) stopped a liner at third base to give the Tigers the 1-0 win. Tennessee State returns to Cookeville on Sunday to wrap up the three-game series. The single game is scheduled to get underway at 1 p.m.