TIGERS TAKE TWO ON COLD, SNOWY DAY AT MOREHEAD
MOREHEAD, Ky.-Tennessee State used two strong pitching performances as they out battled Morehead State and the snow on Friday afternoon. The Tigers won 2-0 and 2-1 to improve to 27-14 and 6-7 in Ohio Valley Conference play, while the Eagles drop to 12-22, 3-10. MSU centerfielder Krystle Coleman slapped a ball over the head of left fielder Melanie Cruz for an apparent triple in the bottom half of the first inning. The Tigers appeal that Coleman missed first base was upheld and ended the Eagles best scoring chance of the game. Candace Hildebrand would not allow a hit until the fifth inning as she threw her first complete game shutout of the season. The senior pitcher issued three hits, two walks and struck out five in route to her 13th win of the season, against eight losses on the year. The win also marks a new TSU single season record. Cruz opened the scoring for TSU in the fourth inning with a hard line drive down the left field line. MSU left fielder Bri Jones attempted to dive for the out, but the ball would get by and roll to the fence to allow Cruz to end up at third with a triple. Freshman Chelsea Brown would score on the play to put the Tigers on top 1-0. In the seventh inning, senior catcher Erin Finneran led off with a single and advance to second on a Jennifer Gregory sacrifice bunt. The Tigers added an insurance run as freshman Tamara Perkins doubled down the left line to chase home Finneran to make the score 2-0. In a snow filled second game, TSU took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on freshman Bridget Metzger's second home run of the season. The Tigers extended their lead to 2-0 in the sixth inning on a pair of Eagle errors. Perkins opened the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a throwing error by Jones. Perkins advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hildebrand and scored on a two-out throwing error by third baseman Brandy Bucher, who was trying to throw out Gregory to end the inning. Junior Amanda Vaught went the distance throwing a two-hit shutout with six strikeouts. Vaught is now 12-5 and allowed one unearned run. Finneran finished 4-for-5 on the day, while Perkins was 4-for-8 with a double. The two teams will close out the three-game series on Saturday, April 7, at 1 p.m. at the Morehead State Softball Complex.