HAMMOND, La. – Tennessee State dropped both games on Saturday as they continue play at the Lion Classic. The Tigers are now 1-3 on the early season as the fell to Buffalo, 7-1, and in five innings to Nicholls State, 13-4.
The Bulls improved to 1-2, while the Colonels remain perfect on the year at 3-0.
In the morning contest, Buffalo scored in the opening frame only to see the Tigers respond in the bottom half of the inning. Abi Stephens drove a 0-1 pitch over the fence in center to tie the game at 1-1. It was the first collegiate home run for the Bon Aqua, Tenn. native.
The Bulls would add two runs in the second and three in the fourth as they held the Tigers at bay. TSU could only manage three base runners after the first inning. Stephens reached on a walk in the fourth, while Danica Gleason and Maddi Clark collected singles in the fifth and the sixth, respectively.
Lauren Woodard (1-1) suffered her first loss as she was touched for three runs, two earned, on three hits and two walks.
In game two, Nicholls State produced a relentless attack on offense, scoring in all five innings. The Colonels combined 17 hits with three walks, a hit by pitch and two Tiger errors to total 13 runs.
In the bottom of the third, trailing 6-0, TSU mounted a charge as they registered four of the teams six hits for the game. Clark opened the stanza with her second hit of the day and moved to second as Courtney Gearlds was plunked by the Colonels pitcher. After a Kasey Cox sacrifice bunt moved the two runners up 60 feet, Stephens stepped to the plate and lifted a fly ball to left field. The drive was deep enough for Clark to motor home putting TSU on the board.
The Tigers added a run a batter later as Joselynn Yates ripped a line drive into centerfield to chase home Gearlds from second. After an Emma Colegrove single and a wild pitch the Tigers once again had runners in scoring position. Transfer Lauren Woodard would engage in an 11 pitch battle with the NSU pitcher which resulted in a hard two run single into centerfield to bring the Tigers to within two at 6-4.
That is as close as the Tigers would get as Nicholls continued its offensive barrage. Lauren Powell (0-2) was tagged with the loss after tossing the first two innings allowing three runs on five hits and two walks.
The Tigers will close out play at the Lion Classic on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. with a rematch versus the host, Southeastern Louisiana. Live stats can be found on tsutigers.com.
The Tigers wore their Blue jerseys with White pants … Today’s games marked the first time playing either team in program history … TSU is 0-5 versus Sunday’s opponent, Southeastern Louisiana … Freshman Abi Stephens produced her first collegiate home run … Courtney Gearlds was hit by a pitch during Saturday’s action; she has now been hit 18 times in her career, ranking fifth and is now nine shy of the top spot in the TSU record book.