Tigers Head To Alabama To Face Five HBCU Opponents
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State softball season has started as a series of streaks. The Tigers started the year by losing the first four games, only to respond with a three-game winning streak. Last week, the run came to an end as TSU lost four consecutive games at the Carolina Classic.
The Tigers (3-8) head to Birmingham, Ala. with the intentions to end a four-game slide and create a new win streak. TSU will take part in the Tiny Laster Invitational featuring HBCU programs from the SWAC and MEAC.
Tennessee State opens play at 4:30pm on Friday afternoon against Jackson State and will continue with two games on Saturday. TSU will begin day two with a contest at 1:30pm versus Grambling State and will close out the day at 6:00pm against Mississippi Valley State. On Sunday, the Tigers will square off with Alabama State at 1:30pm before playing the last game of the tournament against Alabama A&M.
This will mark the third time the Tigers and the Bulldogs have faced each other in 2015. TSU has won on both occasions, 13-11 in Huntsville and 6-4 in Nashville. All games will be played at the Shea Brothers Complex in Irondale.
All games are available through Live Stats and can be heard on tsutigers.com.
Courtney Gearlds paces the offense for the Tigers with a .303 average and six stolen bases. Kailey Richard has reached base in nine consecutive games and carries a .296 average and five RBI into the weekend. Junior Lindsey Burgess tops the squad with two home runs and six runs batted in.
Alabama A&M (7-7)
2014 Record: 11-33
2014 Finish: 3-14
Series Record: 23-3
Last Time Played: 2015, Won 6-4
Last Win: 2015, 6-4
The Bulldogs opened the season with a perfect 6-0, but have gone 1-7 since. Anisa Britt is top in wins with four, while Jordan Bradley has collected three victories.
AAMU is averaging seven runs per game and are led at the plate by Taiya McInnis whose batting average continues to hover around .500. Tiana Sanders leads the team and the SWAC with over 20 runs batted in.
Jackson State (5-15)
2014 Record: 28-29
2014 Finish: 16-1
Series Record: 4-1
Last Time Played: 2012, Lost 8-1
Last Win: 2012, 5-4
The Tigers average over two stolen bases per game and are 48 of 63 on the season. Victoria Nelson and Canessa Swanson are the biggest threats on the base paths and have swiped 16 bases a piece to account for two-thirds of the teams steals. Lyndsey Colvin leads JSU batting .386 with 11 runs and five doubles.
In the circle, Kelsey Townsend is 3-7 with a 4.81 ERA in 55.2 innings of work. In her time on the slab, Townsend has fanned 28, while walking 24. Merina Young is 2-6 with a 4.57 ERA, 23 strikeouts, and 49 walks in 41.1 innings.
Grambling State (0-9)
2014 Record: 12-23
2014 Finish: 6-14
Series Record: First Meeting
Last Time Played: NA
Last Win: NA
GSU is batting .262 as a team and averaging 3.1 runs per game. Bridgette Simmons is 7-for-17 (.412) and is one of five Tigers hitting .300 or over. Raquel Westerman leads Grambling with eight hits and five walks for a team leading .500 on base percentage.
Nicolette Wunderly had been the Tigers workhorse tossing 29.2 of the teams 47 innings. Wunderly is 0-6 with a 10.31 ERA and 12 strikeouts. Aaliyah Lowe and Alexus Brown provide support in the circle with 8.2 innings each.
Mississippi Valley State (2-13)
2014 Record: 14-35
2014 Finish: 9-8
Series Record: 2-1
Last Time Played: 2013, Won 5-4
Last Win: 2013, 5-4
MVSU is batting .192 as a team with 15 doubles and is averaging less than two runs a game. Deja Talton leads the team with 11 hits, three doubles and a .282 average. Talton has hit the lone home run for the Devilettes. Natalia Covarrubias is hitting at a .278 clip with 10 hits, three runs, two doubles and a team high five RBI.
Rebekah Clinton is 2-0 while appearing in 13 games, starting one. The freshman has tossed 31.2 innings and has a 10.32 ERA. Fellow freshman Haley Young has shared a majority of the time in the circle working 27.2 innings in eight starts and 10 appearances. Young is 0-7 with a 16.27 ERA.
Alabama State (3-15)
2014 Record: 17-25
2014 Finish: 11-6
Series Record: 8-2
Last Time Played: 2013, Won 5-1
Last Win: 2013, 5-1
Alabama State sports six players batting over .300. Brittany Wilson leads the team with a .406 average with 13 hits in 32 at bats. The Hornets have three batters with identical 17-for-49, .347 batting averages. Alexis Johnson, Carly Evans and Kendall Core have matched each other and have recorded three doubles a piece. Evans sits atop the triples (2), home runs (3), walks (8) and RBI (18) categories.
Maddie Phelps is 2-7 with a 7.78 ERA and Melissa Christmann is 1-4 with a 9.16 ERA to lead the Hornets. As a team, ASU has a 8.09 earned run average and has amassed 43 strikeouts in 107.1 total innings.