Gainesville, Fla. - The Tigers used early run support and an efficient pitching performance to upend Campbell University in the opening game of the Lipton Invitational at the University of Florida. TSU scored in each of the first four innings on its way to a 6-1 victory over the Big South opponent.
Tennessee State improved to 5-5 on the season as the Camels drop to 7-9. The two squads will face off again on Saturday afternoon.
Jennifer Givens opened the game with an inside the park home run. It was the first homer of any kind this season for the Big Blue. Givens shot a ball down the left field line passed the out stretched glove of the Camels left fielder and found its way into the corner. The junior outfielder never broke stride and slid into home to give TSU an 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, the Tigers took advantage of a two-out throwing error that kept the inning alive. Freshman Savannah Gutierrez drove a ball into centerfield allowing Brittany Davis and Tayler Shimizu to score and extend the lead to 3-0.
TSU continued the attack in the third inning as Kate Morris led off with a double. (Kate) Morris would get thrown out at home trying to score on Tedra Alford's second of three hits on the day. After a walk to Jordan Rehl, Ashley Haynes and Davis were each hit by a pitch in back-to-back at bats to force Alford home. Two pitches later Rehl would cross home plate on a wild pitch giving TSU a 5-0 lead.
Givens would close out the scoring for the Tigers in the fifth by once again using her speed. After a one out single up the middle, Givens stole second and third, reaching home after the catcher's throw to third sailed into left field.
Shea Morris (4-2) would make the runs count as she threw 62 strikes in 83 pitches for a rate of 75%. Stephanie Jones broke up a no-hit bid in the fourth inning with a solo blast to left field. The freshman pitcher finished the game allowing just three hits and one walk, while fanning a career high ten batters.
Alford went 3-for-3 with a run, a double and a walk, while Davis was 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored, one RBI and a hit by pitch.
TSU will play Gardner-Webb at 1:30 p.m. ET as they continue play in the three-day event.