Tigers Hit The Road For Carolina Classic
Friday, February 27, 2015
Tigers Hit The Road For Carolina Classic
Tournament Central | Audio Broadcast |

Tennessee State will take to the road to take part in the Carolina Classic, hosted by the University of South Carolina. The Tigers will open the classic against Marshall on Friday afternoon. South Alabama, ranked 24th, will be the first of two opponents on day two, with Charleston Southern providing opposition in the night cap. The Tigers and the host Gamecocks will close out the classic with the final game on Sunday.
All games are available through Live Stats and can be heard on tsutigers.com. Sunday’s contest with the Gamecocks can be seen via the internet on the SEC Plus Network.
TSU has played two games in the past 18 days. The Tigers have had eight games either postponed or cancelled during the stretch, including six games from the Tiger Classic. The winter storm and frigid temperatures that have hit Nashville have been the cause for the cancellations this season.
The Tigers have faced Alabama A&M in both matchups over the past week and a half. TSU and AAMU played a three hour plus game in Huntsville as part of a double header on Feb. 13. TSU claimed the 13-11 win, but due to the length of game one, the back end of the twin bill was called due to darkness.
The two squads met again on Feb. 24 in Nashville, again for a scheduled double dip. The Tigers once again claimed a two-run win, 6-4. Game two was not played as temperatures were in the low 30’s and the wind chill in the mid 20’s.
Tayler Shimizu leads the Tigers with a .368 average and two doubles. Courtney Gearlds is hitting .333 with five stolen bases, while Lindsey Burgess tops the Tigers with two home runs and six runs batted in.
Scouting Marshall (11-3)
2014 Record: 28-31
Conference: Conference USA
2014 Finish: 13-11
Series Record: 1-3
Last Time Played: 2009, Won 9-8
Last Win: 2009, 9-8
The Thundering Herd is off to a fast start averaging five runs a game while hitting .327 as a team. Marshall sports five batters hitting over .300, led by Morgan Zerkle (.569) and Emileigh Cooper (.455). Zerkle has 22 runs and 20 stolen bases. Shaelynn Braxton (.311) leads the squad with 17 RBI.
The pitching staff is led by Jordan Dixon who has worked 78.2 of the 96 innings for Marshall. Dixon is 10-3 with a save and a 2.97 ERA. Dixon has fanned 114 batters, while walking 21 in 14 games.
Scouting #24 South Alabama (11-3)
2014 Record: 42-13
Conference: Sun Belt
2014 Finish: 15-16
Series Record: 0-1
Last Time Played: 2013, Lost 9-1
Last Win: NA
Steph Pilkington is batting .472 and is one of five Jaguars over .300. Pilkington has recorded four doubles, 11 runs, 11 RBI and 15 walks for a .642 on base percentage. Chloe Rathburn (.386) and Kaitlyn Griffith (.289) top USA with 13 runs batted in.
Devin Brown has recorded 97 strikeouts in 49 innings. Brown is 5-2 with two saves and a 2.00 ERA. Kalen McGill is 5-0 despite starting only two games. McGill has a 1.75 ERA in 24 innings of work. As a staff, the four pitchers for USA have posted a 1.98 ERA and are holding opponents to a .180 batting average.
Scouting Charleston Southern (9-4)
2014 Record: 27-33-1
Conference: Big South
2014 Finish: 9-13
Series Record: Firdt Meeting
Last Time Played: NA
Last Win: NA
Cheyenne Gandara and Jennifer Giles are the top pieces in CSU’s three person rotation. Gandara (3.02) is 5-3 with a save and has fanned 55 batters in 44 innings. Giles is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA. Hayley Elkins has appeared in two games and is 1-0 and has yet to yield a run.
Gandara serves double duty as she also paces the offense batting .500 (18-for-36), along with Amanda Matsumoto (.500, 20-for-40). Gandara is second on the team with five home runs, behind Marci Christian (.368) with seven bombs and 16 RBI.
Scouting #27 South Carolina (11-4)
2014 Record: 36-22
Conference: SEC
2014 Finish: 11-13
Series Record: 1-0
Last Time Played: 2012, Won 4-2
Last Win: 2012, 4-2
The Gamecocks are hitting .311 as a team with 18 doubles, four triples and 16 home runs. Alaynie Page is 24-for-51 batting .471 with 17 runs, three doubles, six home runs and a team leading 22 RBI.
Nickie Blue and Julie Sarratt have thrown all but two innings for USC. Blue has appeared in 11 of the Gamecocks 15 games, starting seven amassing a 6-1 record with a save in 58.2 innings. Blue holds a 0.95 ERA with opponents hitting .159. Sarratt is 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 43.2 innings of work.