NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State softball team dropped a pair of Ohio Valley Conference games to visiting Southeast Missouri on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers fell 5-3 in nine innings before dropping game two, 4-1. TSU was officially eliminated from postseason play as the fell to 2-16 in conference play, 12-34 overall, while SEMO jumped back into the race for the final spot as they improved to 6-12 in conference, 21-25 on the season.
Danica Gleason and Sarah Snell led the Tigers at the plate as each finished with three hits on the day. Erica O’Kane added two knocks, while Patton Akers, Courtney Gearlds and Abi Stephens each collected one. Maggie Syversen and Emma Colegrove each came off the bench to deliver pinch hit singles.
The Tigers started fast in the opener with three runs in the first inning. Gearlds reached first to lead off the inning after being hit by a pitch for the 40th time in her career. Snell and Gleason followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Two batters later, Akers drew a walk to force Gearlds home to take a 1-0 lead. O’Kane stepped up and delivered the big blow of the inning as drove home Snell and Gleason on a shot down the leftfield line.
Starter Lauren Powell held the Redhawks down until Ashley Ellis deposited a ball over the fence in center to cut the Tiger lead to 3-1. SEMO tied the contest at 3-3 with a two-run single off the bat of Madison Harris.
The score remained tied, forcing extra innings. The Redhawks would break through in the ninth as Rachel Anderson started the rally with a triple and scored on a Parker Bandy sacrifice fly. SEMO added an insurance run to take a 5-3 advantage.
The Tigers tried to respond in their half of the frame as Syversen notched a leadoff single and Snell picked up her second walk of the game. TSU thought they had tied up the game as Gleason ripped a shot to center, but was denied extra bases as Anderson made an extended, leaping grab to rob Gleason and the Tigers of a comeback.
Madeline Krumrey (12-8) struck out eight as she earned the win. Powell (5-15) suffered the loss after issuing nine hits and six walks. The sophomore pitcher was able to fan six through nine innings.
In the back end of the twin bill, SEMO struck first with three runs, as Anderson blasted a two run shot, after Mykaela Arellanes recorded an RBI triple. The Redhawks tacked on another run in the fifth off Lauren Woodard, to take a 4-0 lead.
The Tigers would get a run back in the sixth as Gleason scored on an Akers sacrifice fly, cutting into the Redhawks lead.
In the seventh, TSU mounted a comeback as Colegrove and Gearlds produced one out singles and advanced 60 feet as Snell earned her third walk of the day. SEMO starter Alexis Estes exited in favor of reliever Mackenzie Hoelting, who produced two quick outs to preserve the game for the Redhawks.
Woodard (4-12) allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits to take the loss. Estes improved to 6-9, as Hoelting earned her second save of the season.
Tennessee State will host UT Martin on Sunday to close out the home portion of its schedule. The first game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., immediately following the honoring of the three seniors, Courtney Gearlds, Danica Gleason and Lauren Woodard.