NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- Tennessee State would get the bats going in game two of an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, after being no hit in game one. The Tigers claimed a five inning, 10-2, win in the nightcap, while Morehead State took the opener, 4-0.
The win marked the first for the Tigers in OVC play this season, as they moved to 1-5 in conference play and 9-21 overall. MSU is now 20-10 overall, 3-3 in the OVC.
The TSU lineup teamed for 10 runs on nine hits with the big hit coming off the bat of Erika O’Kane. The sophomore blasted a three run dinger in the bottom of the fifth to spark a seven run inning and closing out the game.
Abi Stephens (2-for-2), Danica Gleason (2-for-3) and Selena Crafton (2-for-4) each collected two hits to pace the offense, while Lauren Woodard controlled the game from the circle.
Woodard needed just 47 pitches, averaging less than 10 pitches per inning, to earn the win and improve to 2-6. The senior pitcher was extremely efficient throwing 39 strikes, good for 83 percent. Woodard worked quickly as she surrendered two runs on seven hits.
The Eagles scored a run in the second inning to take an early 1-0 lead. In the third inning, Crafton reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on back-to-back singles by Patton Akers and Gleason. The Tigers evened the score at 1-1 on a Sarah Snell walk.
TSU earned its first lead of the day a batter later. An errant throw by the Eagles on a double play attempt allowed Gleason to cross home plate, making the score 2-1.
Emma Colegrove earned the second of her three walks to open the fourth inning. Kierra Ware came on to run for Colegrove and scored as Stephens tripled to right field for a 3-1 advantage.
MSU edged closer with a run in the top of the fifth, but that would be as close as they would get as TSU exploded for their largest scoring inning of the season. The seven runs in an inning equaled outputs from the first weekend of the season in wins over Jarvis Christian and Jackson State.
The bottom of the fifth opened with a double by Gleason and a bunt single by Snell. O’Kane’s second career blast, first of the season, gave the Tigers a four run lead. With one out, Colegrove started another rally with her final walk of the game and advanced 60 feet on an error off the bat of Megan Huppee. Stephens walked to load the bases before Crafton singled over the second basemen’s head to bring home Colegrove.
TSU tacked on run over the next two batters as Akers walked to push home Huppee and Gleason recorded a sacrifice fly to right to plate Stephens. Three pitches later the game ended as Crafton sprinted home on a wild pitch to give the Tigers the split on the day.
In game one, Chelsea McManaway tossed a no-hitter and struck out 16 batters to improve to 11-5 on the year. The Eagle ace retired the first three Tigers, fanning seven, before issuing a walk to Crafton to break up the perfect game. Snell walked two batters later, but McManaway struck out the side to end the Tigers threat.
The Tigers would put three additional runners on base over the final three innings. Kasey Cox and Reese Weber each reached as they were hit by pitches, while Snell was issued her second free pass of the game.
MSU scored a run in the first inning and added insurance runs in the third, fourth and seventh innings off Tiger starter Lauren Powell. The sophomore hurler gave up all four runs, three earned, on eight hits and three walks in 6.1 innings. Powell (4-8) hit three batters, while fanning five before being relieved by Amanda Cabrera. The freshman retired the final two batters, the first by strikeout.
TSU will host Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State for a pair of OVC doubleheaders next weekend. The Golden Eagles will come to Tiger Field on April 8 at 1:00 p.m.