Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee State used solid pitching by Shea Morris and Olivia Gamache to win both ends of an Ohio Valley Conference double header against Austin Peay Wednesday evening at Tiger Field. The TSU won the first game 5-0 and the night cap 6-5 in nine innings. The Tigers improved to 2-3 in the OVC and 9-15 overall, while APSU drops to 1-7 in conference and 7-15 on the season.
Shea Morris earned her first career shutout by scattering four hits. The freshman had great control throwing 80 strikes in 109 pitches and finished the game by fanning eight Governors in game one.
In the second game, Gamache was solid by throwing 6.2 innings and giving up five runs, zero earned. The sophomore tied a career high with six strike outs. Shea Morris entered in the top of the seventh inning and kept the score tied as she finished the game throwing 2.1 innings allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out four. Morris earned both wins and improved to 6-8 on the year.
In the first game, the Tigers scored all Morris would need in the third on a two run single off the bat of Tedra Alford, which scored Ashley Haynes and Jennifer Givens. Haynes pinch ran for Brittany Davis, who had reached on a walk, and moved to second on a bunt single by Givens. The two advanced a base each on a wild pitch and scored three pitches later when Alford delivered a 0-2 pitch into left field.
TSU would tack on three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Coach Jeff Dabney used a Savannah Gutierrez lead-off single to manufacture a run. After a sacrifice bunt by Alford moved Gutierrez to second, Devin Amar drove a line drive single into right field to plate Gutierrez increasing the lead to 3-0.
Aisha Walker entered to run for Amar and moved to second on a Jordan Rehl sacrifice. Walker would move to third on a slow grounder by Kelly Troglin that shortstop Laurel Burroughs was unable to come up with cleanly. Kate Morris followed with a single into left center that plated Walker. Troglin would go from first to third and was awarded home when the throw from centerfielder Catie Cozart ended up in the dugout producing the final score of 5-0.
Game two was a see-saw battle as both teams traded blows for the first six innings. Austin Peay struck in the top of the first as Cozart scored on a ground ball out by Morgan Brewer to lead 1-0. The Tigers came right back with a two-out rally. Alford singled to center and Amar walked allowing Rehl to come up and rip a line drive, just missing Amar coming off of first, into right field driving in Alford to even the score at 1-1.
APSU used a two-out rally in the top of the second to regain the lead. TSU looked to be out of the inning on a Jessica Ryan ground ball to short, but Alford lost control of the ball and allowed Ryan to get to second. The Governors would take advantage of the miscue with back-to-back RBI hits. Paige Neely came through with a single to score Ryan and Lauren Bradley doubled to left center bringing Neely all the home from first for a 3-1 lead.
In TSU's half of the second, Troglin opened with a single and moved to second three batters later on a Givens hit. Gutierrez delivered a shot up the middle that allowed Troglin to score, cutting the lead to 3-2.
In the third, Tennessee State just missed the chance for a huge inning by leaving the bases loaded, but was able to push one across on a Kate Morris single. Amar had opened with a double to right center and moved to third on a sacrifice by Rehl, before coming home on the (Kate) Morris hit.
TSU picked up one more in the fourth by taking advantage of an Austin Peay error. Rehl delivered a single into left center that chased Alford home from second. Alford had reached on a Burroughs throwing error and was able to move to second when Amar walked.
The 4-3 lead was short lived as APSU came right back with two in the fifth. The Governors loaded the bases on a walk, a hit and a fielder's choice with an error. With two outs, Amy Mills sent a ball up the middle brining home Bradley and de Castro to make the score 5-4.
In the TSU sixth, Amar was hit by a 0-2 pitch putting her on first with one out. Two batters later (Kate) Morris hit a ball into left field. Ryan would dive for the ball and tip it far enough away from Cozart that helped Amar continue to third. Morris would try to advance to second, but stopped as Cozart's throw came towards second. The throw would get away and gave Amar an opportunity to cross home and tie the score at 5-5.
The score would remain the same until the bottom of the ninth. Brittany Davis led off with a four pitch walk. She was replaced by Susie Burke who moved to second on a successful sacrifice bunt by Tayler Shimizu. Givens notched her fourth hit of the game with a chopper over Kayla Davidson at third base. With Burke on third, Givens picked up her fourth steal of the game. On the next pitch, Alford hit a fly ball to left just deep enough for Burke to tag and score the winning run just in front of the Ryan throw.
de Castro finished with an impressive 5-for-5 performance at the plate for Austin Peay in game two.
Givens finished the evening with a combined 6-for-9 and five swipes. She now has 22 on the season.
Rehl was 3-for-6 and (Kate) Morris was 3-for-7. The two freshmen each picked up two RBI.
Alford was 3-for-7 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Amar went 2-for-3 with four walks and a hit by pitch. Amar scored twice with a double and an RBI.
The Tigers will conclude their 14-game home stand with a three game OVC series with Tennessee Tech this weekend at Tiger Field. Games on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 1 p.m. Day one will feature a double header.