CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. --- Danica Gleason and Abi Stephens hit back-to-back doubles in the first inning of the night cap to help Tennessee State earn a split at Austin Peay on Wednesday night. The doubles helped produce two runs in the Tigers 3-2 victory, after APSU needed five innings to secure an 11-3 win in the opener.
TSU moved to 12-32 on the season and 2-14 in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Tigers are still mathematically alive for the eight team playoff, but will need to win their remaining six conference games and receive help. APSU is in 11th in the OVC, one spot ahead of the Tigers, at 4-12 and are 16-28, overall.
Courtney Gearlds singled to open the night cap and scored as Gleason dropped a two-bagger just inside the right field line. Stephens followed with a shot into leftfield that the APSU defender was not able to snag on a shoestring attempt. Gleason crossed home plate to put the Tigers on top 2-0.
The Govs would get one back on a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth off Tiger starter, Lauren Woodard.
Gleason would help give Woodard an insurance run in the sixth. Gleason was hit by a pitchy to open the inning and advanced to second on Stephens second hit of the game. Patton Akers successfully executed a sacrifice bunt to move the Gleason and Stephens 60 feet. Gleason scored on the next play as Erica O’Kane singled deep into the five-six hole, not allowing the shortstop a play on either runner.
Woodard would make the lead stand as she spread out eight hits and a walk, allowing two runs, as she improved to 4-11 on her senior campaign.
With the score tied 3-3 in game one, Austin Peay exploded for five runs in the fourth and four in the fifth to earn a mercy-rule victory. Lauren Powell was tagged with loss as she surrendered six runs, four earned, on three hits, three walks and four hit by pitches in 3.1 innings of work.
Offensively, the Tigers picked up a run in the third inning to cut the Govs lead to 2-1. Gleason singled to right center to bring home Reese Weber who opened the frame with a single and moved to second and third as Gearlds was hit by a pitch and Sarah Snell laid down a sacrifice bunt, respectively.
TSU would take a 2-1 lead in the fourth as Weber snuck a ball through the right side of the infield, allowing O’Kane and Kacey Cox to score for a 3-2 advantage. It would be the last lead of the game for the Tigers before APSU exploded for nine runs in their next two at bats.
Tennessee State will host Southeast Missouri and UT Martin on the weekend for a pair of OVC doubleheaders. Both days are scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start time.