NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State softball team earned a split on Sunday afternoon as they hosted Youngstown State. The Penguins needed just five innings to claim a 13-2 win in the opener, only to see the Tigers rebound and grab an 8-6 victory in the night cap.
TSU (5-12) found themselves down 13-0 in the bottom of the third inning before scratching a run against YSU (7-7). Emma Colegrove opened the inning with a single to center and scored three batters later on a double to right center off the bat of Danica Gleason.
The Tigers would add another run in the bottom of the fifth as Courtney Gearlds scored from second base on a fielding error by the Penguins. TSU would leave bases loaded to end the contest.
TSU would reverse roles with Youngstown State in game two, as they opened with three runs in the first. Gearlds would lead off the frame with the first of her three hits in the game and moved to second with her eighth stolen base of the season.
Gearlds scored three batters later as Lauren Woodard reached on an RBI. Maddi Clark replaced Woodard at first and crossed home plate on a scorching line drive home run to centerfield by Abi Stephens, her third of the season.
The Penguins answered with a run in the top of the second to cut the score to 3-1, but TSU responded with a pair of their own in the bottom of the stanza.
With one out, Colegrove walked and was followed by three consecutive hits by Kasey Cox, Gearlds and Gleason. The last plated pinch runner Randi Marshall, who was on to run for Colegrove. Joselynn Yates brought home Cox a batter later on a sacrifice fly to right field to extend the Tigers lead to 5-1.
TSU continued to add on to its lead in the third as Stephens recorded the first triple of her career with a drive to right field. Senior Lindsey Burgess wasted no time as she ripped the first pitch she saw into right to bring home Stephens.
The Tigers would plate their final run later in the inning on a successful suicide squeeze by Cox allowing Burgess to score from third.
YSU cut into the 7-1 lead in their next at bat with a run, but was not able to do more damage as the Tiger defense tightened up and cut down a Penguin at the plate.
Youngstown State threatened in the seventh inning with three runs, making the score 7-5. But once again the defense would step up and end the threat as Stephens teamed with Gleason to relay a perfect connection to Yates to deny a YSU runner safe passage to third.
Lauren Powell, who was roughed up in game one, returned to toss the final 3.2 innings in game two and secure the win, improving to 3-3.
TSU will take to the road for a double header at No. 3 Auburn on Wednesday and will continue the trip with a twin bill at Alabama State on Thursday.