Nashville, Tenn. - Strong pitching performances highlighted both ends of Sunday's Ohio Valley Conference double header between Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles grabbed a 4-0 victory in game one, with TSU evening the score with a 4-1 decision in game two.
The Tigers are now 3-5 in OVC play, 10-17 overall, while The Golden Eagles move to 11-18, 5-6 in conference play.
TSU used the abilities of the Morris twins to help grab the final game of the series. Shea Morris was great in the circle and received run support off the bat of her sister, Kate.
The freshman pitcher got off to a fast start striking out the side in the first and used eight pitches to retire the Golden Eagles in the second. TTU threatened in the third as they looked to take advantage of a hit by pitch and a bunt single. (Shea) Morris would get two fly outs before recording another strikeout to end the inning.
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the first inning. With two outs, Tedra Alford ripped a line drive into center that fell safely to ground, as it came off the glove of the charging centerfielder. Devin Amar was hit by a pitch and Jordan Rehl walked to load the bases for Kate Morris. The freshman catcher took full advantage of the situation and drove a 2-0 pitch off the fence in left center, clearing the bases.
TSU added another run in the fourth as Aisha Walker scored on a wild pitch. Walker reached on a walk and moved to third on an errant throw trying to get Jennifer Givens on a bunt single. The run gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
Tennessee Tech scored their only run in the sixth inning, as they used a two out Tiger error to start a rally. TTU collected back-to-back singles to break up the shutout at 4-1. (Shea) Morris sat down the Golden Eagles in order in the seventh to improve her record to 7-9. Morris completed the three-hitter issuing one walk and fanning six.
The first game was a fast paced game that lasted an hour and 20 minutes. TTU's Holly Thomas was in total control as she threw 74 pitches, 55 for strikes. Alford stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the first and drove a 2-2 pitch into right center for her second triple of the season. Alford would be the only Tiger to reach base in the game, as Thomas retired the final 19 batters to improve to 8-8.
Olivia Gamache (2-4) took to the circle for the Tigers and worked just as fast, only needing 29 pitches to sit down the first ten Golden Eagle batters she faced. The eleventh batter, Melody Christian, reached on a bunt single and stood on second with two outs when things started to go south for the sophomore pitcher.
TTU would score three runs, one earned, on two hits, a walk and an error before Gamache could record the final out. In the fifth, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases on a walk and two bunt singles. The Exeter, R.I. product looked to be working her way out of the jam forcing an out at home and striking out Thomas. But another run would cross the plate as Gamache hit Brittney Spalding with the bases still loaded.
Susie Burke finished the game throwing the final two innings for TSU. The senior retired the first five batters she faced, including three consecutive strikeouts, before surrendering the only hit against her.
The Tigers will take to the road on Thursday, March 29, as they travel to Clarksville to conclude their OVC series with Austin Peay. TSU claimed the first two games from APSU on Wednesday, March 21, at Tiger Field. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.