Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee State used speed, defense and pitching to gain two wins on the final day of the Tiger Classic on Sunday. The Tigers came from behind to score in their final at bat to pull off an eight-inning 5-4 win over Mississippi Valley State and jumped out to an early lead to snag a 5-1 win over Alabama State. TSU improved to 8-14 and dropped MVSU to 7-15 and ASU to 1-20.
Shea Morris went the distance in both games and improved her record to 6-7 with the two wins. In the first game, Morris scattered five hits and a walk over the eight innings allowing just two earned runs. The sophomore fanned 11 batters in the game and moved into second on the TSU career strikeout list.
In her second outing, Morris allowed just four hits and an earned run while punching out six. Her strike out season total sits a 101. This marks the second time she has crossed over the century mark and is only the fifth time in school history for the barrier to be broken. Amanda Vaught accomplished the threshold twice and Caitlin Eaton once.
In the first inning, Jennifer Givens led off with a single and immediately stole second base. After a wild pitch moved her to third, Audrey Sensing hit a high chopper over the pitchers head into centerfield to score Givens giving the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
The Tigers trailed 2-1 after giving up two unearned runs to the Devilettes. TSU responded in the bottom of the fourth with an unearned run to even the score at 2-2. Ashley Haynes led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brianna Roberts. Two batters later Haynes crossed home plate as a throw from the catcher on her steal of third got away far enough for the junior to scamper home.
MVSU used a two-out rally in the fifth to regain the lead at 4-2. The Tigers would get one back in the home half of the inning on a two-out single off the bat of Jayna Hanawahine. The freshman's base knock chased Kacie Daugherty home from second base to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Tigers fought back in the seventh inning with a single by Kiarra Freeman, who then took second on a throwing error. Two batters later, Sensing ripped a triple to right center tying the game at 4-4. TSU could not push Sensing across the plate which forced extra innings and the international tiebreaker.
TSU came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning with a chance to win after holding MVSU scoreless. Hanawahine started the inning on second base and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Haynes. Three batters later Givens stepped to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners. With two strikes, the senior outfielder hit a soft slap just by the pitcher to the shortstop. Givens out ran the play for a single allowing Hanawahine to step on home plate for the 5-4 victory.
In game two and the crowd still buzzing, Givens and Freeman teamed up to put the Tigers up early. After a leadoff single by Givens, Freeman ripped a ball down the left field line that found its way into the corner. The two speedsters raced around the bases for an inside the park home run for the freshman.
In the second inning, TSU increased their lead to 5-0. Freeman slapped a ball to shortstop that was misplayed with basses loaded to score Roberts and Shann'da Hamer. Sensing followed a couple batters later with a ground out pushing Givens home.
ASU could only manage a run in the sixth inning as the Tigers completed the sweep on the final day of the tournament.
On the weekend, Morris finished 3-1 with 35 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched. Givens led the team in hitting at .429 (9-for-21) followed by Freeman at .421 (8-for-19) and Daugherty at .400 (6-for-15). In limited action, Haynes was 4-for-8 and a .500 average.
Freeman and Morris were named to the Tiger Classic All-Tournament team.
TSU will host Auburn on Tuesday at 2:00 pm at Tiger Field. The game with the Tigers can be heard on tsutigers.com.
2013 Tiger Classic All-Tournament Team
MVP - Dana Elsasser, Nebraska-Omaha
Molly Negrete, Nebraska-Omaha
Campbell Ditto, Nebraska-Omaha
Allie Matthewson, Nebraska-Omaha
Brianna Lore, Saint Louis
Laura Bohning, Saint Louis
Shea Morris, Tennessee State
Kiarra Freeman, Tennessee State
Bri Meyer, Indiana
Shannon Cawley, Indiana
Alicia Lorenz, Mississippi Valley State
Xiomara Perez, Mississippi Valley State
Tournament Champion - Nebraska-Omaha
Day 1 Results
Nebraska-Omaha-9, Saint Louis-0 (5 inn)
Indiana-8, Alabama State-0 (5 inn)
Saint Louis-6, TSU 0
TSU-10, Alabama State-0 (6 inn)
Day 2 Results
Saint Louis-4, Alabama State-2
Nebraska-Omaha-6, Alabama State-1
Saint Louis-5, Mississippi Valley State-1 (9 inn)
Nebraska-Omaha-11, TSU-0 (5 inn)
Mississippi Valley State-5, Indiana-2
Indiana-8, TSU-0 (6 inn)
Day 3 Results
Nebraska-Omaha-2, Mississippi Valley State-0
Saint Louis-4, Indiana-3
TSU-5, Mississippi Valley State-4 (8 inn)
TSU-5, Alabama State-1