NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State dropped the final game of the opening Ohio Valley Conference weekend to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. EKU continued its offensive attack with 15 hits in route to a seven inning, 10-2 win.
Eastern Kentucky completed the sweep to improve to 3-0 in conference play and 18-6 overall. The loss keeps TSU winless in the OVC at 0-3 and is now 7-20 on the season.
Both teams had opportunities through the first three innings, but the defenses would stand tall as the score remained scoreless heading into the fourth.
EKU would strike first as they scored five runs on six hits, including two triples and a double. The Tigers came back in the bottom of the frame and loaded the bases against starter Alex Sallberg and reliever Murphy McRoberts. Erica O’Kane and Carionna Hassell each reached on walks to chase Sallberg from the circle. McRoberts struggled as well, issuing back-to-back walks to Whitney Ennis and pinch hitter Kim Trice, forcing home O’Kane to put TSU on the board.
Hayley Flynn entered as the third pitcher of the inning for the Colonels and ran into trouble right away as she plunked Courtney Gearlds with the first pitch she threw. On the play, pinch runner Rea Sylvester crossed home plate to cut the score to 5-2. Flynn would settle in to entice Abi Stephens to pop up to end the TSU threat.
O’Kane entered the circle in the fifth in place of starter Lauren Woodard, but the Colonels would chip away at the freshman hurler with runs in the fifth and sixth, before opening the gap in the seventh with three more runs.
Woodard fell to 2-12 after working four innings giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk. O’Kane was touched for five runs, four earned, on six hits and four walks.
The Tigers managed four hits off the trio of EKU pitchers. Lindsey Burgess finished 1-for-1 at the plate. Lauren Dreitlein, Danica Gleason and Abi Stephens each collected hits on the day.
Flynn earned the win tossing the final 3.1 innings, fanning two batters while issuing just a hit and a walk.
The Tigers will return to action on Tuesday, Mar. 22 with a single non-conference game at Middle Tennessee.