TIGERS SPLIT DOUBLEHEADER AT EASTERN ILLINOIS
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-The Tennessee State University softball team used a comeback in game two of an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader to earn a first day split with Eastern Illinois. The Tigers dropped the first game 3-2, before taking game two 3-1. TSU took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game one when senior Candace Hildebrand singled up the middle to drive in freshman Tamara Perkins and junior Jennifer Gregory. Perkins led off the game with a single and a stolen base. Gregory followed two batters later with a single, to move Perkins to third, and then stole second base to set up the opportunity for Hildebrand. The Panthers cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the first inning. The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the sixth when EIU pieced together two runs on three hits. TSU would fight back in the seventh as freshman Bridget Metzger worked a walk to lead off the inning and beat the throw to second on a Melanie Cruz sacrifice bunt. The Panthers relief pitcher Kathleen Jacoby then struck out the next three Tigers to end the threat and pick up her second save on the season. Hildebrand was tagged with the loss pitching 3.2 innings of relief work. Eastern Illinois (12-17, 2-6) scored an unearned run in the first inning of game two off Hildebrand to take a 1-0 lead. In the fourth inning, Tennessee State (23-13, 3-6) used singles by Chelsea Brown and Erin Finneran and a walk to Lauren Weber to set up Melanie Cruz for the heroics. The Hermitage native hit a two-out double into left field to cleared the bases and put the Tigers up 3-1. Hildebrand scattered seven hits in a complete game performance and improved to 11-7 on the season. The two teams will square off in the rubber match on Sunday, April 1, at 1 p.m.