Tigers Comeback Falls Short Against Jackson State
IRONDALE, Ala. – Kailey Richard fell a triple shy of the cycle as the Tigers comeback effort came up just short in the opener of the Tiny Laster Classic in Irondale, Ala. Despite six extra base hits, Tennessee State lost a heartbreaker 10-9 in eight innings on Friday afternoon.
Richard was a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate with two doubles and a home run. The freshman ripped a double to left center in her first plate appearance in the opening frame. In the fourth, Richard drove a hard line drive, on the first pitch she saw, over the fence in centerfield. The blast was the first of her career.
The Highland, Calif. native picked up a single in the sixth, leaving the illusive triple as the only hit needed for the cycle. In the seventh, Richard led off with a drive to the fence in right field. Richard made it into second with ease, but had no opportunity to stretch the extra base hit into a triple as the throw from right was on its way back in as she reached second.
The performance by Richard was not enough to propel the Tigers over Jackson State. The Tigers of JSU jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three innings of play, before Richard sent the ball out of the park to cut the lead to 6-1 in the fourth.
Jackson State added a pair of runs in the top of the sixth off reliever Jasmine Matchen to increase its lead to 8-1. In the bottom of the inning the Tigers came storming back. TSU used five hits and two walks to score six runs and move to within one run at 8-7.
Richard started the rally with a one-out single and moved to second on a single off the bat of Lauren Dreitlein. After a pitching change, Kate Morris drove a 0-1 pitch over the fence in left for a three-run dinger. The three RBI gives Morris 60 in her career and moved her into fifth on the TSU all-time list, surpassing Bridget Metzger and Tamara Perkins, who both played from 2007-10.
The sixth inning continued with back-to-back walks to Joselynn Yates and Lindsey Burgess. JSU reentered starter Kelsey Townsend who retired the first batter she faced. With two outs, Savannah Womack singled to left center and advanced to second on the throw to third, which arrived after Burgess reached third safely. Yates scored on the play making the score 8-5. On the very next pitch, Danica Gleason ripped a ball into the gap in right center and used her speed to earn her second triple of the season. The three-bagger chased home Womack and Burgess bringing the Tigers to within one, 8-7.
In the seventh, Richard once again started the ball rolling with the double to right. Chelsea Buchanan entered to pinch-run for Richard, and moved to third on a ground out by Dreitlein. Morris stepped to the plate and delivered an RBI single to right, as TSU tied the score at 8-8, erasing JSU’s seven run advantage.
Jackson State regained the lead in the first extra frame with a pair of runs, forcing the Tigers to comeback once again. TSU loaded the bases with no outs and moved to within one at 10-9 on a Womack sacrifice fly to center. That would be as close as TSU would get as they stranded runners on second and third to end the game.
Matchen suffered the loss as she struck out five in five innings of relief. The junior transfer is 0-1 on the year.
Jackson State improved to 6-15, while the Tigers move to 3-9. TSU will return to play on Saturday with a 1:30pm game against Grambling State and a 6:00pm matchup with Mississippi Valley State. Live stats and live play-by-play can be found on tsutigers.com.