SOFTBALL REBOUNDS TO DEFEAT JACKSONVILLE STATE, 5-4
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. --- The Tennessee State softball team (15-36, 4-16 OVC) snapped a five-game skid with a 5-4 win over Jacksonville State (35-17, 12-7 OVC) on Wednesday afternoon on the road in Jacksonville. The teams first needed to wrap up their previous game that had been halted by lightning last week at Tiger Field. Play resumed in the top of the fifth inning with the Gamecocks already ahead, 8-0. Jacksonville State held on for the inning to take the win. In the second game, the Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning, picking up two runs. Sophomore Misty Adfield (Twin Falls, Idaho) got things started with a single to center field that advanced senior Catriona Smith (Marion, N.C.) to second after she reached on a short single to the shortstop. Junior Tarah Evanisko (San Jose, Calif.) reached on a base on balls to load the bases. A single by sophomore Amanda Buhler (Twin Falls, Idaho) gave her two RBI as both Adfield and Smith crossed the plate. Classmate Keisha Chattman (N. Little Rock, Ark.) knocked her second hit of the season to load the bases again but the Tigers were unable to send another run home, ending the inning with a 2-0 lead. Tennessee State held off the Gamecocks in the bottom of the inning only to turn up the heat offensively to open the second inning, this time around collecting three runs. Sophomore Joy Thompson reached on a base on balls and advanced to second on a single by senior Shannon Hicks (Smyrna, Tenn.). After a Gamecock pitching change, freshman Hollie Sanders (Columbia, Tenn.) smashed her sixth homerun of the season, collecting three RBI and pushing the Tigers ahead, 5-0. Jacksonville State finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Jezierski sent a double down the left field line to open the inning, After Evanisko was sent into the circle to relieve sophomore Justine Jontz (Hendersonville, Tenn.), a costly error gave the Gamecocks their first run of the day. Ford reached on a walk and was sent over the plate after the second Tiger error of the inning. With their lead narrowed to 5-2, Tennessee State only needed to hold on for one more inning to pick up the win. McDonald doubled to center field to open the bottom half of the seventh inning for Jacksonville State and two quick outs looked like the end of the game for the Gamecocks. However, Countryman hammered a homerun to centerfield to bring the Gamecocks to within one run of Tennessee State. Bonin followed with a double to right center. Senior Alana Thomas (Bristol, Va.) was brought in to replace Evanisko and hold on to the Tigers' slim one-run lead. She sat her only batter down with a swinging strikeout. Hicks and Smith both went 2 for 4 with one run each. The Tiger pitching staff combined for five strikeouts. Tennessee State returns to action on Saturday, May 1 as they host Eastern Illinois at Tiger Field for the beginning of a three-game set. Action is set to get underway at 1 p.m. On Sunday, May 2, the Tigers will honor their seniors -- Shannon Hicks, Catriona Smith and Alana Thomas -- during a pre-game Senior Day presentation. That contest is also scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.