Nashville --- The Tennessee State University softball team knocked off Eastern Kentucky, 7-3, in game one before falling to the Colonels, 4-0, in extra innings.
After falling behind early, TSU used strong fifth and sixth innings to move past EKU, 7-3, in game one. The Tigers poured in nine hits while Caitlin Eaton threw seven strikeouts in the winning effort.
In game two, Eastern Kentucky used a four-run eighth frame to pull away from Tennessee State in extra innings.
Tennessee State moved to 9-29 (3-12 OVC) while Eastern Kentucky moved to 20-13 (7-7 OVC).
Caitlin Eaton (6-11) earned the win while Stacye Toups (1-2) was charged with the loss. Kelly Troglin led TSU offensively with two RBI behind a 3-of-4 showing at the plate while Jalisa Bradley went 1-of-4 at the plate and recorded her fourth homerun of the season.
Diane Gallagher led Eastern Kentucky with two RBI.
Eastern Kentucky threatened to get on the board early in the first inning but Tennessee State held off the rally. An error, walk and hit loaded the bases for EKU with no outs but the Tigers turned a double play before Caitlin Eaton struck out the next batter to get out of the inning unscathed.
A two-out rally, however, in the top of second, led to EKU taking a 3-0 lead. Back-to-back singles followed by a triple that drove in a couple runs made the advantage 2-0 before another hit scored the third run of the inning.
The Tigers attempted their own two-out rally in the bottom of the frame but it came up short. Jill Gardner was hit by a pitch before Jasmine Brimm singled to left field. The rally came to a halt, though, when the next batter struck out.
In the bottom of the fifth, Caitlin Eaton walked before Brittany Webb singled to the shortstop. The Tigers got on the board when Kelly Troglin doubled to left center to drive in Eaton and Webb. On the next at bat, Troglin crossed the plate on a single by Brooke Blackford to knot the score, 3-3.
This prompted a pitching change for EKU as Stacye Toups came in for Noelani Esperas.
The Tigers carried the momentum into the sixth inning. For the second time in the game, Jill Gardner reached on a hit-by-a-pitch before Jasmine Brimm walked. A few moments later, Brimm advanced to second while Gardner was thrown out at third attempting to steal following a wild pitch.
The Tigers took the lead, 4-3, when Jasmine Dunston singled to score Brimm from second. TSU continued to roll and added three more runs before the inning ended.
EKU made another pitching change and got out of the inning without any more runs scoring.
In the top of the seventh, Caitlin Eaton retired three straight batters, including two strikeouts, to seal the win.
Tennessee State finished the game with nine hits and one error while Eastern Kentucky registered five hits and one miscue.
The second game of the doubleheader was a different story. Although both teams threatened, the starting pitchers along with the defense kept the opposing offense in check. The game was scoreless through the first seven frames.
In extra innings, the lead-off batter, Diane Gallagher, tripled to right field for EKU. One fielder's choice and one hit later, Gallagher scored to give the Colonels a, 1-0, lead. EKU went ahead, 2-0, when Gibson made it home safe on a fielder's choice. A double to left center drove in two more runs and made the Colonel's advantage, 4-0.
The Tigers went down in order in their half of the frame.
Kelly Troglin (2-10) was tagged with the loss while Kristin Perry picked up the win (7-4).
Brooke Blackford went 2-of-4 at the plate to lead TSU while Christina Ciolek tallied a team best two RBI for EKU.
Tennessee State had six hits and two errors in the game while stranding nine runners on base. Eastern Kentucky had nine hits and did not commit any errors.
TSU and EKU will conclude the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.