March 22, 20171234567RHE
Middle Tennessee0010021464
Tennessee State030004X7102
Win: WOODARD (1-3) 7.064110
Loss: JENNINGS (5-8) 5.186012
BURGESS (MT) 312000
CRAFTON (TSU) 413100
Tigers Claim Win Over Middle Tennessee, 7-4
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Tigers Claim Win Over Middle Tennessee, 7-4
Picture by Sam Jordan

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State softball team took advantage of four Middle Tennessee miscues and rode the arm of Lauren Woodard to post a non-conference win on Wednesday evening. TSU scored three unearned runs in the second and another four unearned runs in the sixth to grab a 7-4 victory at Tiger Field.

Lauren Woodard (1-3) earned her first win of the season as she tossed a complete game, scattering six hits and a walk. The senior surrendered one unearned run in an efficient outing, throwing 66 strikes in 99 pitches.

Offensively, Selena Crafton and Courtney Gearlds paced the way from the top of the lineup combining for five hits. Crafton finished 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while Gearlds went 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and was hit by a pitch. The senior became the all-time TSU leader in hit by pitch when she was plunked in the second inning.

The Tigers began a two out rally in the bottom of the second as Erica O’Kane reached on an MTSU error. The inning continued as Whitney Ennis reached on the second miscue of the inning by the Blue Raiders.

TSU took full advantage of the back-to-back errors as four consecutive batters reached safely. Abi Stephens singled to load the bases before Crafton singled up the middle to chase home O’Kane for the 1-0 lead. Ennis crossed home plate an inning later when Gearlds was hit in the knee by a Cori Jennings (5-8) pitch. Danica Gleason made the score 3-0 in favor of TSU with a single through the left side of the infield to plate Stephens.

The Blue Raiders would fight back with a run in the third and evened the game with two runs in the top of the sixth.

The Tigers wasted no time in responding with four runs in the bottom of the frame. After Stephens reached on the fourth error of the game, Crafton and Gearlds delivered back-to-back hits to load the bases. Sarah Snell put the Tigers back on top two batters later with a single up the middle which brought home Crafton and Gearlds for a 5-3.

Kim Trice followed with a double off the fence in right center on the first pitch she saw, chasing home Gleason and Snell to take a 7-3 advantage. MTSU could only manage one run in the top of the seventh as TSU broke a four game losing skid to the visitors. The game also marked the first time the Tigers scored a run against Middle Tennessee since 2014.

The Tigers improved to 8-15 on the season and will take to the road to open Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend. TSU will start the weekend with a doubleheader at SIUE in Edwardsville, Ill. before traveling to Charleston, Ill. for a twin bill against Eastern Illinois on Sunday.