SOFTBALL TAKES TO THE ROAD FORTHREE MATCH-UPS,
SOFTBALL TAKES TO THE ROAD FOR THREE MATCH-UPS The Tennessee State women's softball team will take a small break from Ohio Valley Conference play as they travel to Western Kentucky University on Tuesday for a doubleheader in their first of three road trips this week. The Tigers (17-30, 3-16 OVC) will then travel to Tennessee Tech on Thursday for a single game to conclude their OVC series with the Golden Eagles. TSU will take their final road trip of the season in a weekend conference match-up at Eastern Kentucky. THIS WEEKS SCHEDULE: April 25 TSU vs Western Kentucky DH 2/4 p.m. Bowling Green, KY April 27 TSU vs Tennessee Tech Single 2 p.m. Cookeville, TN April 29 TSU vs Eastern Kentucky DH 12/2 p.m. Richmond, KY April 30 TSU vs Eastern Kentucky Single 12 p.m. Richmond, KY EYE ON THE TIGERS: Joyce Maudie has won 267 games as a head coach and ranks number one in TSU softball history, in just her fifth year, with 60 wins. As a team, the Tigers have a .243 batting average with 53 doubles, five triples, and 16 home runs. The pitching staff currently boasts the best team earned-run-average in school history at 3.17. They have thrown six shutouts and have recorded 162 strikeouts. Senior Leena Worrell leads the team in hitting with a .336 average, homeruns (7), RBI (34), and shares the lead with junior Emily Samana with eleven doubles. Samana is the owner of the highest on-base-percentage (.435) with a team high 25 walks and ranks second with 22 runs scored. Senior Nira Robbins leads the team in runs scored with 23, hits (49), and triples (2) and ranks towards the top in average (.316), doubles (9), and homeruns (4). Junior Candace Hildebrand leads the pitching staff with an 8-11 record, one save, and a 2.13 ERA. Hildebrand has struck out 57 in 121.1 innings pitched and has three complete game shutouts. Sophomore transfer Lauren Weber (3-9, 4.26) has 54 strike outs in 69 innings and leads the team with 0.78 strike outs per inning. LAST WEEK: TSU completed its ten-game home stand going 1-4 on the week, losing both sides of a doubleheader to Memphis and losing a hard fought series 2-1 to Austin Peay. Senior Nira Robbins (Champaign, IL/Rend Lake CC) and junior Emily Samana (Petaluma, CA/Santa Rosa JC) registered the only two hits the Tigers would get in game one versus Memphis. The visiting Tigers used a three-run fifth inning to defeat junior Candace Hildebrand (Moreno Valley, CA/Arizona Western CC) and TSU 3-0. Memphis once again used a big inning scoring four in the seventh to break a scoreless tie. Sophomore pitcher Lauren Weber (Franklin, TN/UT-Martin) scattered three hits through the first six innings before taking the 4-0 loss. Senior Leena Worrell (Butte, MT/Porterville College) led the way offensively going 2-for-3 and hitting her eleventh double of the season. Samana finished game two 1-for-2 with a walk and a double (11), while Weber was 1-for-2 at the plate. Tennessee State opened their OVC series with Austin Peay with a 1-0 victory. Hildebrand pitched a complete game three-hit shutout with one walk and fanning six batters for her eighth win of the year. Robbins led the game off with a single and scored the games only run on a dropped ball at the plate after a Worrell single. Freshman Melanie Cruz's (Hermitage, TN) and senior Amanda Buhler (Twin Falls, ID) each singled, while junior Diana Clifford (Braidwood, IL/Chipola CC) hit her third double of the season. Austin Peay jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after two innings on their way to a 7-1 win in game two of the first day doubleheader. Robbins scored the lone TSU run in the third inning and was 1-for-3 in the game. Senior Heather Ebersole (Rock Island, IL/Chipola CC) and sophomore Jessica Sesson (Jackson, TN) hit their third and first doubles, respectively. Samana finished 1-for-3 with the fourth TSU hit of the game. It took eight innings to decide the series winner on Sunday as APSU prevailed 3-2. Hildebrand once again toed the rubber as she did not allow a Lady Gov hit until two outs in the fourth. Robbins led off with a single for the second consecutive game and scored on a Worrell two-out single. Samana got things started in the second with a hard line drive single into left field and scored when Cruz hit her sixth double of the year to the wall in right center for the 2-0 lead. Austin Peay came charging back in the sixth scoring two runs on three hits and a Tiger miscue. The score remained tied until the eighth when APSU led off with a single and scored on a two-out hit. TSU received hits in the final game of the week from Robbins (2-4), Worrell (1-3), Samana (1-2 and a walk), Cruz (1-2), and Buhler (1-3). TOP PERFORMANCES FOR THE WEEK: Emily Samana: 4-11 .364 avg., 1 run, 1 double, .500 OBP, 1.000 fielding in 46 chances Nira Robbins: 5-16 .313 avg., 3 runs Candace Hildebrand: 1-2, 1.33 ERA, 1 shutout, 21 innings pitched, 15 strikeouts Leena Worrell: 4-16 .250 avg., 1 double, 1 RBI Week Individual Highs: RUNS: 3, Nira Robbins HITS: 5, Nira Robbins DOUBLES: 1, 6 tied (Samana, Worrell, Ebersole, Cruz, Sesson, Clifford) RBI: 1, 2 tied (Worrell, Cruz) WALKS: 3, Samana STOLEN BASES: 1, Buhler SCOUTING WESTERN KENTUCKY: The Hilltoppers are led by second year head coach Rachel Lawson (57-47) and are 24-23 on the season and are tied for fourth in the Sun Belt Conference at 4-5. This past weekend WKU dropped a series, 1-2, with Florida International. As a team they are hitting .235 with 32 doubles, 25 home runs, and are 50 of 59 in stolen bases. Senior shortstop Bailey Rolfs is tops in hitting .308 (45-for-146), runs (17, tied with two others), home runs (9), and RBI (29). Rolfs is also a perfect 6-6 in stolen base attempts. Sophomore Shelby Smith is second in average, .288 (38-for-132), home runs, 9, and RBI, 16. Senior Renikka Toliver is the leading threat on the base paths swiping 12 bags in 13 attempts and is tied for the team lead with 17 runs scored with Rolfs and junior outfielder Alana Towns (.225, 27-for-120). In the circle, WKU has a 2.57 team ERA and has struck out 239 batters in 316.1 innings. Senior Adrienne Lathrop leads the way with a 14-11 record and three shutouts in 28 appearances. Lathrop has a 2.73 ERA working in 159 innings, striking out 95 batters and allowing just 40 base-on-balls. Freshman Jennifer Kempf (8-6) leads the staff with a 2.00 ERA and four shutouts in 87.1 innings of work and has 82 strikeouts and 35 walks. Freshman Ryan Rogge (2-6, 2.90) rounds out the pitching unit throwing 70 innings walking 22 and striking out 62. SCOUTING TENNESSEE TECH: Tory Acheson (12 years, 603-264-1) is in his eighth season with TTU and is the winningest coach in school history with a 313-182 record. The Golden Eagles are 41-13 and stand alone a top of the OVC with an 18-2 mark. TTU swept a three-game set from Eastern Illinois this past weekend in OVC play. Tech is hitting .284 as a team with 64 doubles, 45 home runs and has a fielding percentage of .971. As a pitching staff, TTU has a 1.55 ERA, while striking out 313 against just 66 walks in 361.1 innings pitched. Junior Bonnie Bynum (24-8, 4 saves, 1.11) is the ace appearing in 38 games, starting 31, and has been a part of eleven shutouts. Bynum has 241 K's in 207.1 innings, allowing just 30 free passes and is holding opposing batters to a .161 batting average. Sophomore Sarah Street (11-2, 1.91) has been a part of four shutouts starting in 14 games and appearing in 25 games. Lead-off hitter Beth Boden sets the table for the Golden Eagles with a .331 average (58-175) and leads the squad scoring 40 times and stealing 13 bases in 15 attempts. The sophomore shortstop has eight doubles, three triples, eight home runs, and 24 RBI. TTU sports five other hitters batting over .300 with well over 140 at bats. Freshman Danielle Wallace (.333 20-3-27), junior Ashley Potts (.327 20-9-34, 12 doubles), sophomore Katie Speiser (.321 36-5-18), sophomore Krystina Dobbs (.315 27-6-25, 11 doubles), and sophomore Steph Fischer (.315 23-5-31, 14 doubles). This will be the third meeting, concluding the three-game OVC series, of the season. The two teams met on March 23, at Tiger Field for a doubleheader. Tech swept the day winning 8-0 in five innings and 7-0. Bynum allowed just one hit, a fourth inning single by Nira Robbins, striking out 10 Tigers in game one. Boden led the way going 3-for-4 crossing home plate three times, driving in three runs, and homering. Fischer was 3-4 with one run, 2 RBI, and a double. In game two, Leena Worrell hit a two-out double in the seventh to break up Street's bid for a perfect game. Boden (2-3 3 runs), Fischer (2-3 run, 3 RBI, double), Dobbs (2-3 run, 2 RBI), and Potts (2-3 run) provided most of the offense to solidify the game. SCOUTING EASTERN KENTUCKY: The Colonels are led by head coach Jane Worthington (14 years, 393-347) and is the only softball coach in school history. EKU is currently 10-9, 5th, and 26-23 overall following a series sweep at the hands of UT-Martin. Before the Tigers arrive this weekend the Colonels travel to Kentucky for a single game on Tuesday before finishing their OVC series with Morehead State on Thursday. Eastern Kentucky is hitting .271 with 59 doubles, eight triples, 25 home runs, and 57 stolen bases. The pitching staff has a 2.93 ERA and is backed by a solid defense with a .963 fielding percentage. Kelsey Anderson (14-10, 2.28) has started 26 games and has a team high 150.1 innings pitched. The junior pitcher has seven shutouts, one save, 150 strikeouts, and has allowed 37 walks, while surrendering 13 home runs. Freshman Kalyn Fox has three shutouts in 17 starts and has a 2.89 ERA and an 11-8 record. Offensively, Chanze Patterson (28-3-24) is a top the EKU leader board with a .314 batting average and with 23 stolen bases in 24 chances. Anderson (.301 17-4-38) leads the EKU attack with nine doubles and 38 RBI. Sophomore Alex Merrell (.301 26-0-15) is the third Colonel batting over .300 and adds speed with eleven steals, while freshman Becky Werle adds pop hitting .256 with five doubles, one triple, and five home runs. NEW SINGLE SEASON MARK: The Tigers defeated Austin Peay 1-0 on Saturday, April 22, for its 17th win surpassing the old mark of 16 set by the 2004 team for most victories in a season. Junior Candace Hildebrand pitched a three-hit shutout striking out six and Senior Nira Robbins supplied the run after leading off the bottom of the first with a single and scoring when senior Leena Worrell singled up the middle and the APSU catcher could not handle the throw home. This also marks only the fourth time in the programs 13 year history for a Tiger team to reach double-digit wins. All four 10-win seasons have been accomplished within the past six years. TSU has nine games remaining on the schedule, three at Tiger Field. TURN OF THE CENTURY: The April 22nd 1-0 win over Austin Peay also accomplished the 100th win in Tennessee State softball history. TSU starts its journey for 200 on Tuesday as they travel to Bowling Green, KY, to take on Western Kentucky. 1994 1-36 1995 3-44 1996 4-47 1997 4-38 1998 5-36 1999 5-33 2000 5-42 2001 13-26 2002 10-32 2003 9-33 2004 16-41 2005 8-36 2006 17-30 (current record as of April 24) CLIMBING THE RANKS: TSU is currently ranked 13th, with Sam Houston State and Yale, in double plays per game in NCAA Division-I play. Oregon is a top the list with .56 double plays per game, just ahead of the Tigers with a .45 per game average. The Tigers have turned 20 twin killings on the seasons. Tennessee State has turned 12 in each of the last three seasons and recorded 14 in 2002.