Shimizu's Game Ending Hit Ignites Split With Austin Peay
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tayler Shimizu ripped a single down the left field line to plate Lindsey Burgess giving Tennessee State a split in an Ohio Valley Conference double header on Saturday afternoon. The shot by the senior in the bottom of the seventh inning broke a tie and sent TSU to an 8-7 win over Austin Peay. Christiana Gable powered a three-run home run in the seventh to help the Governors charge back from a five run deficit in the opener to claim a 14-13 win.
The split allowed both teams to move to 2-3 in conference play. TSU improved to 9-16; APSU is now 3-15.
Burgess recorded a single to second with one out in the final stanza of the day. APSU second baseman Laurel Burroughs was able to get to the Burgess single up the middle on a great athletic play, but was not able to get the ball to first to retire the Tiger catcher. Carionna Hassell singled to right to move Burgess into scoring position setting up the game winning hit. Shimizu sent a 0-1 pitch down the line, hoping over the bag allowing Burgess to scamper home for the crucial OVC win.
Amber Galyon (2-5) worked all seven innings in game two to earn her second win of the season. The freshman hurler surrendered six earned runs on 11 hits, while fanning three.
Trailing 2-0 in the third, the Tigers would take advantage of back-to-back lead off singles from Shimizu and Danica Gleason. Freshman Kailey Richard hit a single up the middle to push both runners across home plate to even the score at 2-2.
APSU wasted no time regaining the lead as Burroughs cleared the base paths with a two out bases loaded double. Christiana Gable followed with a double of her own to score Burroughs to give the Govs a 6-2 lead.
Lauren Dreitlein would jump start the Tigers in the fifth with her third home run of the season, a two-run shot to left center. TSU would add another run in the frame as Burgess drove Kate Morris home to cut the disadvantage to one, 6-5.
The Governors added a run in the sixth, but the Tigers earned a tie in the bottom of the inning. Courtney Gearlds would sneak a ball just inside the right field line for a triple, scoring Gleason who reached on a leadoff single. A batter later, Gearlds sprinted home on a ground out by Richard to even the game at 6-6, setting up the Shimizu heroics.
In game one, the Tigers out hit the Governors, 14-13, but were edged out on the scoreboard. TSU exploded for five runs in the first inning as they sent 10 batters to the plate. Hassell recorded the big blow with a two run single, allowing Morris and Joselynn Yates to score. Shimizu closed out the inning with an RBI single.
Burgess earned another RBI on a ground out in the second, while Gearlds picked up a run scoring double in the third to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead.
APSU continued its charge back with five runs in the top of the fourth, only to see the Tigers respond with a crooked number of its own.
TSU brought 11 batters to the plate and used four hits, three walks and an error to score six runs to regain a 13-8 lead. Natalie Ayala entered to get the Govs out of the inning. Ayala continued for the final three innings scattering one hit, two hits, and a hit by pitch, while keeping the Tigers off the board.
Ayala’s work gave APSU the opportunity to chip away at the TSU lead with a run in the fifth and two in the sixth. Gable capped off the comeback with a three-run home run in the seventh off reliever Taylor Green.
The junior college transfer fell to 5-7 as she faced five Governors, fanning one in her inning of work.
Yates led the way on the day with five hits in seven at bats and added two walks. Gearlds and Shimizu each finished the afternoon 4-for-7. Gearlds scored four runs, walked twice, stole a base and drove in three runs, while collecting a double and a triple. Shimizu scored twice, walked twice, stole a base and plated two.
All nine Tiger batters reached base at least three times throughout the day and collected at least two hits.
The Tigers hit the road for a 1:00pm twin bill at Murray State on Sunday. The games can be heard on tsutigers.com.