TENNESSEE STATE SWEEPS BELMONT
NASHVILLE, Tennessee-Tennessee State used a late inning comeback to complete a non-conference sweep over Belmont at Tiger Field on a cold, blustery Wednesday afternoon. TSU (25-14) scored six runs over the last two innings to force game two to extra innings and an 8-7 win after defeating Belmont (8-23) 7-5 in the opener. Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tigers used back-to-back singles from senior Erin Finneran and freshman Tamara Perkins to get things started. With one out, freshman Bridget Metzger drove a ball off the left field fence to plate Finneran and pinch runner Katie Anderson to bring the Tigers within two runs at 5-3. Junior Jennifer Gregory followed with a triple to right field that allowed Metzger to score easily from second base. Two pitches later, sophomore Melanie Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to left field, deep enough to score Gregory from third and tie the score, 5-5. Belmont responded with two runs in the top half of the seventh, only to see the Tigers come charging back. After a Diana Clifford lead off single, sophomore Christy Hill hit a ball through the left side of the infield that Belmont shortstop Sarah Vaughn fielded deep in the hole. Vaughn made the long throw across the infield, but not in time to get Hill and allow Clifford to scamper all the way to third on the play. Hill stole second as Finneran struck out and was able to move to third as the Bruin infield threw the ball around in attempt to get Clifford at third. Clifford was able to score on the play to make it 7-6. Perkins tied the game as she hit a sacrifice fly to right field that brought home Hill. The Tigers closed out the comeback in the eighth inning as Metzger hit a ball up the middle that allowed Gregory to out race the throw from center field. Junior Amanda Vaught (11-5) recorded the win working six innings in relief striking out eleven and allowing just three hits. In the first game, each team scored in each of the first three innings as the Bruins took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. The Tigers would use two Bruin errors and three hits to score four runs and take a 7-4 lead. The inning was highlighted by a two-run double down the left field line by Metzger, who finished the day 3-for-7 with two doubles, two runs, a stolen base and five runs batted in. Senior pitcher Candace Hildebrand earned the win in five innings of relief and tied the single-season record with 12 wins. Hildebrand (12-8) fanned three batters, issued a walk and gave up three hits and an unearned run. The Moreno Valley, California, native tied her own record for wins that she set in 2006. The Tigers travel to Morehead, Kentucky this weekend to take on Morehead State in an Ohio Valley Conference series. The two teams will play a 1 p.m. double header on Friday, April 6, and a single game at 12 p.m. on Saturday.