CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Tennessee State softball team tried fight back from an early deficit only to fall short as they dropped a 10-5 non-conference meeting with UT Chattanooga on Wednesday evening. The Tigers dropped to 10-35, while UTC improved to 24-21.
The Mocs jumped on starting pitcher Lauren Woodard, early and often as they scored seven runs on 11 hits through the first 1.2 innings. Lauren Powell entered to retire the final out of the second and tossed the final four innings.
Trailing 8-0, Erica O’Kane hit a towering home run to leftfield to put the Tigers on the board in the fourth. The blast is the first of the freshman’s career and allowed the game to extend past the fifth inning.
In the sixth, Whitney Ennis delivered a single just inside the right field line which allowed Lindsey Burgess and pinch runner, Kierra Ware, to score cutting into the Mocs lead.
Chattanooga responded with a pair of runs in the sixth, making the score 10-3 heading into the final inning of play.
In the final stanza, the Tigers tried to make a comeback, beginning with an RBI triple off the bat of Courtney Gearlds. The three-bagger was the fourth of the season for the junior and the 11th of her career, moving her into a tie for third all-time in the TSU record books.
Gearlds scored her team leading 25th run a batter later on a Danica Gleason ground out to make the score 10-5. The score would be the last of the inning as the Tigers would strand Lauren Dreitlein and pinch runner, Maddi Clark, on base to end the game.
Gearlds led TSU with two hits and was joined in the hit column by Burgess, Kim Trice, O’Kane and Ennis.
Trice added a walk to reach twice on the evening, while Dreitlein earned two base-on-balls for the game.
Woodard suffered the loss and fell to 4-19 on the season.
The Tigers return to Ohio Valley Conference play with a pair of double headers on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.