Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee State softball was three outs away from experiencing just the fifth no-hitter in its 18 year history on Wednesday afternoon at Tiger Field. But, the Hornets of Alabama State pieced together five hits as they came from behind to beat TSU 4-3 in the first game of a double header. The Tigers bats came to life in game two, as they pounded out 11 hits on way to an 8-5 victory.
TSU moved to 7-12 on the season, while the Hornets are now 3-19.
The Tigers used an Alabama State error to get things rolling in the first inning of game one. Jennifer Givens led off the bottom of the first by reaching second on Hornet throwing error and moved to third on a Kelly Troglin sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Jordan Rehl hit a one-hopper towards right field that the ASU first baseman tipped with an out stretched glove, allowing Givens to score for the early 1-0 lead.
Rehl would make things happen with her legs as she went from first-to-third on a single to right by Devin Amar. The relay throw sailed into the Tigers dugout and Rehl was awarded home, while Amar moved to third. Kate Morris made the score 3-0 with a single to center, driving home Amar.
The Hornets got a run back in the fifth making the score 3-1 by taking advantage of a hit-by-pitch and two Tiger errors. Tiger pitcher Shea Morris (4-7) allowed her first base runner in the fourth with a walk before allowing three to reach in the fifth. The freshman carried a no-hitter into the seventh with seven strikeouts, only to lose the no-no as the first two batters poked hits just over Rehl at third base.
After a sacrifice moved the tying runs into scoring position, the Hornets cut the lead to just one by dropping a ball into centerfield. They followed with a bunt single to load the bases with one out. Brehanna Rodriguez then delivered a two-run double into left center to take a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Brittany Davis picked up a one-out single, but was erased on a Tayler Shimizu ground out. Shimizu would advance to second on a wild pitch, but was stranded as Givens grounded out to second to end the game.
In game two, TSU spotted the Hornets two runs in the first before exploding for seven runs on six hits in the second inning. Kate Morris reached on an error to start the inning and moved to third on an errant throw on a Davis ground ball. Shimizu singled to right moving Davis to second and put the Tigers on the board as (Kate) Morris crossed home plate.
After Savannah Gutierrez beat out a bunt to load the bases, Givens drove a ball into left center for a bases-clearing stand up triple as TSU took a 4-2 lead. Troglin popped a single over the pitcher that died in front of the shortstop and gave Givens just enough time to slide into home safely. After Tedra Alford and Rehl were retired on hard line drives to the outfield, Amar hit a line drive into left center that escaped the diving attempts by the Hornet outfield. Troglin scored easily as Amar slid into third, barely beating the throw for the first triple in her career.
The Hornets picked up a run in the top of the third, but the Tigers responded with a hit by Gutierrez and a clutch two-out single by Troglin. TSU extended the lead to 8-3 as Gutierrez crossed the plate.
Olivia Gamache would make it stick, scattering nine hits and allowing just one earned run on her way to improving to 2-2 on the year. The pitching product from Exeter, R.I., walked one and picked up her lone strike out to end the game.
Amar picked up two hits in the first game and one in the second to finish 3-for-6 on the day, scoring twice and driving in one. Rehl continues to lead the Tigers with a .320 batting average as she was 2-for-5 with two walks.
Kate Morris recorded a hit and an RBI in each game, while Troglin and Gutierrez each finished the afternoon 3-for-6.
TSU will take a day off before hosting the Tiger Classic over the weekend. The three-day event starts on Friday evening with a game between Belmont and St. Bonaventure. The Big Blue takes to the field at 7:15 p.m. as they take Ohio State University of the Big Ten. For the full schedule of games for this weekend, go to tsutigers.com for the Tiger Classic Tournament page.