Starkville, Miss. - Tennessee State lost both games Saturday afternoon at the MSU Bulldog Kickoff Classic. The Tigers led early, but saw Troy comeback and steal a 7-3 victory. In game two, it was Mississippi State earning a six inning, 8-0 win. TSU has started the season 0-3, while Troy improved to 2-2 and MSU climbed to 2-1.
In the first game, the Tigers struck first with three runs in the top of the third inning. Freshmen Kiarra Freeman and Jayna Hanawahine led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt, fellow freshman Lindsey Burgess grounded to short giving Freeman a chance to break for home. Freeman beat the play to the plate and gave TSU an early 1-0 lead. Two batters later, sophomore Kate Morris dropped a two-out single into left center to bring home Hanawahine and Burgess.
Troy started to chip away at the Tiger lead with a run in each of the third and fourth innings. Starter Olivia Gamache (0-1) saw her lead slip away as the Trojans scored three unearned runs in the fifth inning for a 5-3 lead. Two more Trojan runs in the sixth provided the final score.
Morris finished 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI, while Ashley Haynes was 1-for-2 with two sacrifices. Freeman scored a run as she was 1-for-2 with a sacrifice.
Hanawahine recorded the fourth hit for TSU and was 1-for-3 with a run and was hit by a pitch.
The second game started as a pitcher's duel for the first four and a half innings, as both pitchers refused to allow a hit until freshman Brianna Roberts delivered a two-out single into center in the top of the fourth inning. The hard line drive was the first career hit for the Culloeka product.
Pitcher Shea Morris (0-2) cruised through the first four innings not allowing a hit and surrendering just one walk, while fanning five Bulldog batters. But MSU took advantage of a couple of Tiger miscues to explode for six runs in the fifth inning. The SEC opponent added two more in the sixth to close out the game in six innings.
Roberts claimed the lone hit for TSU and added a walk in a 1-for-2 performance.
The Tigers will conclude play in Starkville on Sunday at 1 pm against Georgia State. Live action can be heard on tsutigers.com.