NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State softball team continues its preparation for the upcoming season. The Tigers enter the season with 14 returners from a year ago. The 25th unit in program history will look to improve on a 12-37 season.
First year head coach Andrea Browning will rely on a veteran battery corps to make a run at the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. Lauren Powell, Amanda Cabrera, Erica O’Kane and Tori Hart all return in the circle while senior Whitney Ennis and junior Emma Colegrove are back to handle the catching duties.
Powell is the top returnee tossing 106.2 innings in her sophomore season and finished 5-15 with a 5.25 earned run average. The junior led the Tiger staff with 72 strikeouts, while holding opponents to a .296 batting average.
Cabrera and O’Kane look to step up to provide support to Powell. The duo was used sparingly in 2017 with Cabrera working 35.2 frames and O’Kane just 14.2 before being shutdown due to injury. Tori Hart looks to get back into the mix after rehabbing from a postseason surgery. As a freshman, Hart went 3-5 with a 5.78 ERA in 46.0 innings.
The Tigers will also look to freshman Katie Schneider to provide depth to the pitching unit.
Colegrove played in 28 games, starting 22, behind the plate, as she split time with Ennis who saw action in 21 games, with 19 starts. Colegrove posted a .963 fielding percentage and batted .175 with 11 walks, a double and two runs batted in. Ennis finished at .945 in fielding while hitting at a .128 clip with a home run and three RBI.
Sophomores Sarah Snell and Reese Weber will provide help behind the dish. Snell looks to spend most of her time at shortstop with Weber by her side at third base.
The Tigers open on Feb. 9 with a matchup against Valparaiso as part of the Troy Invitational. The game is the first of two games on day one of the three day tournament.