Tigers conclude tournament play at Stetson Invitational
Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nashville --- The Tennessee State University softball team will make their fourth tournament appearance of the season at the 2011 Stetson Invitational. The tournament will begin Friday, March 4, and continue through Sunday, March 6,  at Patricia Wilson Field  in DeLand, Fla.

The Tigers will take on Elon, Stetson, and Binghamton in the tournament. On Friday, the Tigers will face Elon University at 11:00 a.m. before meeting Stetson at 4:00 p.m.

Elon (8-2) recently swept the field in the Elon Invitational, defeating Seton Hall (8-4), Dayton (5-0) and Morgan State (15-2) before splitting games with South Carolina (L,0-2, W,8-1). Elon has been leaning on the bats of Tomeka Watson and her team best .412 batting average and team leading 14 hits along with slugger Emerald Graham who leads the team with four home runs and 16 RBI on the season. Elon has eight players batting .300 or better contributing to a .310 team average while holding opponents to a .256 average.

Stetson (6-8) enters the tournament following the Hatter Classic where they went 2-3. The field included Valparaiso (L,2-5,W,5-3), Bethune-Cookman (L,3-5) and Charleston Southern (W,9-5,L,4-9). In their loss to Charleston Southern, the Hatters received a surge of power from freshman pitcher Meridith Owen and Junior shortstop Chelsey Trotto as they each hit two-run home runs in the losing effort. Trotto has been very reliable for Stetson this season, leading the team in hits with 17 behind a .362 batting average while scoring a team best 12 runs in addition to a team second-best 10 RBI.

On Saturday, the Tigers will face Binghamton at 1:30 p.m. before facing Stetson for the second time at 6:30 p.m.

Binghamton (0-0) will see their first action of the season this weekend at the Stetson Tournament. The Bearcats were selected fourth in the America East Conference preseason softball poll. Binghamton will be returning six starters and three pitchers from their 2010 team who averaged 4.9 runs per game and batted .273.

On Sunday March 6, the tournament will conclude with the championship/consolation game.

Tennessee State (6-10) comes into the tournament following their 1-4 performance at the Phyllis Rafter Memorial where they defeated Georgia State (5-0) before falling to Mercer (L,1-6), Ball State (L,5-13), Purdue (L,0-8) and Kennesaw State (L,2-12). The Tigers look to solve their pitching woes as there are giving up 6.49 runs per game, while opponents have a 3.88 ERA. The Tigers have also struggled with runners in scoring position, tallying only 59 RBI to opponents 95 RBI.

Sophomore Tedra Alford has stepped up big for the Tigers as of late, tallying at least one hit in every game, with the exception of one, last week, which led to a .471 batting average. Alford had two RBI in the win over Belmont in addition to going 3-3 at the plate in the Tigers win against Georgia State.

Overall the Tigers are led offensively by Caitlin Eaton. She is batting .405 and has a team-best 17 hits on the season. She has also registered 10 RBI and two home runs for TSU. 

Live stats will be available through the official athletic website of Stetson University.