NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State were in the midst of a pitcher’s duel until a late rally by Kennesaw State proved to be too much for the Big Blue on Thursday evening. The Tigers gave up eight runs over the final two innings to fall to the Owls, 10-2.
Lauren Powell was locked in a battle with opposing hurler Morgan Sikes through the first five innings. Powell held the Owls to one hit through the first three innings, allowing the Tiger offense to grab a 1-0 lead.
Abi Stephens opened the bottom of the third with a single down the right field line and moved into scoring position after a sacrifice bunt by Chelsea Buchannan. Stephens advanced to third as pinch hitter, Kim Trice, grounded out to second.
The Tigers produced its run as Courtney Gearlds chopped a base hit up the middle to plate Stephens. The run batted in was a team leading 14th for the senior centerfielder.
KSU answered in the next half inning with two runs on three hits giving Sikes a lead to work with. The KSU pitcher would surrender just one hit to the Tigers, a single by Whitney Ennis, over the next two innings.
Powell would return in the fifth and limit KSU to a walk before being lifted heading into the sixth. Lauren Woodard entered and was touched for five runs on six hits in one inning of work. Erica O’Kane finished the game for the Tigers tossing the seventh where the Owls used a walk and two hits to tack on three runs.
Lindsey Burgess collected a double in the sixth and Ennis drew a walk off KSU reliever, who threw the final two innings.
Powell fanned four batters as she was tagged with the loss, falling to 3-9. Sikes improved to 9-4.
KSU improved to 22-16 on the season and extended TSU’s losing skid to 15 games. The Tigers dropped to 7-30 on the season and will resume Ohio Valley Conference play with a double header versus Murray State on Saturday at Tiger Field.