MURRAY, Ky. --- Tennessee State softball played a pair of tight ball games before the contests would get away from the Tigers in the end. TSU dropped two Ohio Valley Conference games at Murray State on Tuesday afternoon. The Racers used a six-run, fifth inning to claim an 11-3, six-inning, decision in the opener before scoring all their runs in the sixth inning of game two to earn the sweep with a 4-0 victory.
TSU fell to 11-31 on the season and 1-13 in conference. The Tigers will have their backs against the wall as they play the final eight games of the season, looking for a chance to qualify for the conference tournament for the first time since 2001. The Racers moved into fifth place as they improved to 9-5, 33-14 overall.
Trailing 1-0 in game one, the Tigers manufactured a run to even the score in the top of the third. Reese Weber opened the frame with a walk, moved to second on a passed ball and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Kasey Cox. Weber scored a batter later as she beat a throw home on a ground ball by Patton Akers.
The Racers pushed ahead in the fourth with a pair of runs, but the Tigers wasted no time answering with two in the top of the fifth. TSU used a walk and a pair of bunts to get things rolling. Akers delivered the first blow for the Tigers with an RBI single to right center to chase home pinch runner Kierra Ware. Two batters later, Weber brought the Tigers back to even with Murray State as she scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Danica Gleason.
MSU retaliated in the bottom of the frame as they used three hits and took advantage of a Tiger miscue to score six unearned runs to jump ahead for good, 9-3. The Racers closed out the game with two runs off reliever Amanda Cabrera in the sixth.
Lauren Powell (5-13) suffered the loss allowing nine runs, three earned, off eight hits and a walk, while fanning three.
Abi Stephens led the way offensively, collecting two of the Tigers five hits in the opener.
Game two was an old fashion pitcher’s duel as Lauren Woodard and the Racers Haven Campbell went toe-to-toe for six innings.
Woodard allowed a hit in the first and two more in the third before retiring eight consecutive batters. Campbell was up to the challenge as she went on a run of sitting down 12 straight Tiger hitters begging in the third inning.
TSU threatened early as Sarah Snell picked up her team leading seventh double of the season with one out in the first inning, but was stranded on second. Cox tried to start a two out rally in the second with a two out, but was left on first.
In the third inning, Snell and Gleason recorded back-to-back two out singles, but once again, the Tigers would come up short.
The Racers would finally get to Woodard in the sixth inning as they pieced together four hits and a hit by pitch to produce four runs.
Cox reached on a walk in the seventh, but was forced out at second to end the game.
Woodard (3-11) fanned one, while issuing four runs on seven hits.
The Tigers will travel to Clarksville on Wednesday to face Austin Peay in an OVC doubleheader, beginning at 4:00 p.m.