NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- A seventh inning rally by Tennessee State came up short against Chattanooga on Wednesday evening at Tiger Field. TSU scored four runs in their final at bat, but fell to the Mocs, 6-5, in a non-conference contest. The setback dropped the Tigers to 8-20, while UTC improved to 11-22.
TSU surrendered four runs in the top of the seventh inning to fall behind Chattanooga 6-1. The Tigers would begin the bottom of the seventh with the top of the batting order, which accounted for five of the team’s seven hits on the night.
Selena Crafton beat out a bunt to third for her second hit of the contest, beginning the Big Blue’s comeback effort. Courtney Gearlds followed by driving a 3-2 pitch over the leftfielders head and outraced the relay for a triple that plated Crafton. Three pitches later, Gearlds crossed home plate on a wild pitch to cut the visitors lead in half at 6-3.
Danica Gleason restarted the rally with a walk which chased UTC’s starting pitcher, Celie Hudson. The Tigers continued to put pressure on the Mocs, forcing three errors over the next four batters. Gleason benefited on the opponents second error, making the score 6-4.
With runners on the corners and two outs, TSU used back-to-back walks from Emma Colegrove and Kasey Cox to move within a run at 6-5. Hudson would return to the circle after the free pass to Cox and would have to face the Tigers leading hitter in Crafton. The Mocs hurler wasted no time as she was able to retire Crafton on three pitches to stymie the Tigers bases loaded threat.
Chattanooga opened the scoring with a run in the top of the third inning off TSU starter Lauren Woodard. The Tiger offense bounced back in the bottom half of the inning as Crafton beat out a throw home on a Gleason ground ball to even the score at 1-1.
The game remained a pitcher’s duel with the Mocs taking the upper hand with a run in the sixth to take a 2-1 lead into the final inning.
Woodard suffered the loss and fell to 1-6 after being touched for four runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings.
Gearlds finished the evening 3-for-4 with a stolen base. The senior climbed in three categories of the TSU record book. Gearlds in now in third in career hits, second in career runs and second in career stolen bases.
TSU returns to Ohio Valley Conference play on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. as they host Morehead State at Tiger Field for a doubleheader.