CHARLESTON, Ill. --- Tennessee State rode the four-hit pitching of Kristina Blair and put together a 13-game hit attack to win game one against Eastern Illinois Saturday night. The Tigers saw a 2-0 lead evaporate in the nightcap as EIU scored seven runs in the final three innings to take a 7-3 win and gain a split.
Blair allowed just two earns runs and had the backing of one of the team's top offensive efforts of the season to grab the victory. The Tigers erased a 1-0 deficit with a two-run fourth and put the game away with four runs in the fifth to give Blair a five-run cushion.
Heather Ebersole singled to lead off the fourth and advanced to third. Ebersole scored on a wild pitch and Blair later added a RBI single to give TSU the lead for good.
Nira Robbins had a run-scoring single while Leena Worrell and Blair each had RBI doubles in the fifth. The Tigers got an insurance run in the sixth when Jade Savusa homered to right field, her first in her career at TSU.
Sanders had three hits, while Robbins, Worrell, Blair, and Savusa also had a pair of hits each.
In the second game, TSU led 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning. Tarah Evanisko had the Panthers shut out until EIU struck for three runs and then added two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.
Sanders' single up the middle had given TSU a 1-0 lead in the first. Worrell doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on Blair's single down the right field line.
EIU pitchers would limit the Tigers to two hits the rest of the way to post the victory. EIU scored its seven runs on 10 hits.
The teams will play the rubber game of the series Sunday at noon.
Box Score (Game One)
Box Score (Game Two)