AUBURN, Ala. – Tennessee State softball opened its spring break schedule with a pair of losses to the No. 3 Auburn Tigers on Wednesday evening. The SEC opponents grabbed a 7-0 victory in the opener and needed just five innings to close out TSU 8-0.
TSU fell to 5-14 on the season as Auburn improved to 22-1.
On the evening, TSU was held to five hits, recording three in the first and two in the night cap.
Courtney Gearlds was the lone Tiger to register a hit in both games as she continues to lead the team, batting .373.
Gearlds opened the afternoon by legging out a grounder for a single to get the Tigers started. The junior centerfielder moved to second on a ground out by Abi Stephens and advanced to third on a single by Lauren Woodard off the opposing pitcher. The ball stayed in the infield holding Gearlds 60 feet away from home.
The Tigers would strand the duo and were held off the bases until Woodard earned a walk in the fourth inning. Joselynn Yates gave the Tigers another baserunner after a two out walk, but once again the Big Blue was held scoreless.
Yates would reach in the seventh as she picked up the Tigers final hit of the game with a double down the left field line. TSU was not able to convert on the opportunity and was held scoreless for the third time this season.
AU opened the scoring on the day with a sacrifice fly after a leadoff triple by Carlee Wallace to start the second inning. They would go on to plate two more in the third, fifth and sixth innings off Woodard who was touched for nine hits and three walks. The junior moved to 1-8 on the season as she was charged with five earned runs.
In game two, Auburn would strike early with two runs in the first and another in the second.
Trailing 3-0, the Tigers tried to answer back with a two-out rally in the top of the third. Gearlds would get things started with a hard shot up the middle and was followed by a hard line drive by the pitcher and into centerfield by Danica Gleason.
The two speedsters were left on base as the Tiger outfield was able to track down a Stephens’ fly ball to left center.
AU closed out the game with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth off Erica O’Kane who dropped to 1-2.
In the night cap, Yates, O’Kane and pinch hitter, Kierra Ware, all reached via base on balls, but were spread throughout the contest not allowing TSU to mount an attack.
Pinch runner Randi Marshall earned her first career stolen base in the second inning, on to run for Yates.
The Tigers will continue its road trip with a pair of games at Alabama State on Thursday. The games can be heard on tsutigers.com beginning at 2:55 p.m.