BROWN GUIDES TIGERS TO SWEEP OF SECOND PLACE EASTERN KENTUCKY
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Freshman Chelsea Brown drove in the deciding run in game one and scored the game-winner in the night cap as Tennessee State swept the first two-games of the Ohio Valley Conference series with Eastern Kentucky at Tiger Field on Saturday. The Tigers won the first game in their final at bat, 1-0, and grabbed the second game 2-1 in nine innings. TSU improved to 11-12 in conference play, 34-20 overall, and dropped Eastern Kentucky to 12-10, 20-27, and out of second place. The Tigers remained in seventh place as Austin Peay swept Eastern Illinois. Game one was an old fashion pitchers duel between senior Candace Hildebrand and EKU pitcher Kelsey Anderson. The two pitchers would keep the game scoreless through six innings of play. The Colonels threatened in the top of the first as Anderson hit a ball off the fence in right center that chased Shyenne Hussey around the bases. Senior centerfielder Diana Clifford fired to first baseman Katie Anderson who relayed the ball home to senior catcher Erin Finneran in time to get Hussey. Anderson was in control allowing just one TSU runner to reach second base until the seventh inning. With one out in the final inning freshman Bridget Metzger took advantage of an error at third base by Hussey. Two pitches later Metzger stole second and advanced to third when the throw got away from Colonels' shortstop Chanze Patterson. After Hildebrand earned a walk to put runners on the corner, Anderson intentionally walked Clifford to get to Brown, who had replaced Anderson due to an injury in the fifth. The freshman from Franklin laced the first pitch she saw into right center to bring home Metzger. Hildebrand earned the win throwing her third shutout of the season and is now 16-11. The Moreno Valley, California native scattered five hits and one walk while striking out three. Anderson fell to 9-14 allowing just three hits and an unearned run. She struck out seven against two walks. The second game resembled the first as junior Amanda Vaught and EKU's Kalyn Fox each pitched five scoreless innings. In the top of the sixth, EKU used two hits and an intentional walk to load the bases with no outs. Jena Handley put the Colonels on the board with a sacrifice fly to centerfield that brought home Anderson. Vaught would escape the inning as she struck out the final two batters. TSU responded in their half of the sixth as Metzger hit a two-out single through the left side of the infield. Hildebrand followed with a drive into the right centerfield gap to allow Metzger to score all the way from first and tie the game at 1-1. Patterson led-off the seventh with a double to left center and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Hussey hit a fly ball into foul territory down the left field line that sophomore Melanie Cruz made the play on and fired home to throw out Patterson to end the EKU threat. EKU put runners on second and third in the ninth inning, but once again Vaught answered the challenge as she struck out her twelfth of the game to send the game into the bottom of the ninth still tied at 1-1. Brown and sophomore Christy Hill hit back-to-back singles in the ninth off Anderson and moved up one base each on a sacrifice bunt by Finneran. Freshman Tamara Perkins drove a ball into the ground that bounced over the head of Hussey at third. Brown hesitated and broke late to home as Patterson ranged over to snag the ball on the second bounce. Brown stopped between third and home and retreated back to third as Patterson fired home. Handley returned the throw back to third and hit Brown, who was diving back into third. The ball ricocheted into foul territory and passed left fielder Pam Webber, who was backing up the play, allowing Brown to get back up and race home for the 2-1 victory. Vaught improved to 16-8 as she surrendered eight hits and five walks. Anderson suffered the loss and dropped to 9-15. The Tigers and the Colonels will wrap up the series with a single game at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Tiger Field.