Long Balls Not Enough at Eastern Kentucky
RICHMOND, Ky. – Tennessee State received home runs from four separate Tigers, but it was not enough to garb a game on Saturday at Eastern Kentucky in a pivotal Ohio Valley Conference double header. EKU needed just six innings to pull off an 11-3 victory, before coming back late to secure the sweep with an 8-3 win underneath the lights.
The Colonels jumped into sixth place with the two wins and are 7-6 in the OVC and 17-22 overall. The Tigers remain four games out of the final qualifying spot for the conference tournament with a 2-13 mark in conference, 9-27 overall. The two losses extends Tennessee State’s winless streak to 11 games.
TSU collected 17 hits on the day with four leaving the yard. Senior Kate Morris would get things started in game one with a dinger in the second and was followed by Lindsey Burgess in the fourth. Kaley Richard and Lauren Dreitlein each hit their home runs in game two.
Morris led the Tigers with four hits on the day, while fellow classmate Tayler Shimizu reached base five times, three hits and two walks. Joselynn Yates matched Shimizu with three hits and two walks in one more at bat than the senior.
The Colonels would hit their share of home runs on the day as they took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning in game one. Morris would cut the lead in half with her second blast of the season.
The celebration did not last long as EKU used another homer to extend its lead to 5-1 after two. Trailing 6-1, Burgess launched a ball over the fence in left field for her sixth of the season and 13th of her career.
The Tigers continued to work its way back into the game as Dreitlein hit the ball off the fence in left center for a double, allowing Yates to score from first, after her second hit of the game.
The three run deficit would be as close as TSU would get, as the Colonels added a run in the fifth and four in the sixth.
Amber Galyon (2-12) took the loss, working 1.2 innings surrendering six runs, five earned on five hits and a walk. Jasmine Matchen tossed the final 3.2 innings and was touched for five runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk.
In the night cap, The Tigers would score first as Richard ripped a shot that stayed just inside the left field foul pole in the second, for her second bomb of the year. EKU would waste no time getting the lead with two runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Dreitlein evened the score in the Tigers next at bat as she clobbered a 3-0 pitch well over the fence in left center.
In the fifth, Danica Gleason led off the inning with a bunt single and made her way to third on a long single by Richard. Two batters later, Morris drove a ball down the left field line to plate Gleason and give TSU a 3-2 lead.
EKU would come back with a vengeance in the bottom of the inning, as they would get to starter Taylor Green for six runs on six hits, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly. Neither team would touch home plate the rest of the way as Green was tagged with the loss as she went the distance. Green is now 5-11 after the Colonels scored eight runs off ten hits and two walks.
The Tigers and the Colonels will play the final game of the series on Sunday at 1:00pm ET at Gertrude Hood Field.