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Tigers Ready to Return to the Field
Friday, February 24, 2012

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee State softball is ready to get back to play after the second weekend of the season was washed out. The Tigers made the trip to Montgomery, Ala., to participate in the ASU Hornets Classic, but never stepped off the bus as the skies opened on Saturday, February 18. TSU then traveled to Normal for a doubleheader against Alabama A&M, but once again did not get a chance to step off the bus as the field was unplayable due to poor conditions.

The Tigers are 2-2 after a trip to Columbia, S.C. and the Palmetto Classic to open the 2012 season. TSU opened play with a 4-2 victory over host South Carolina and followed it with a win over Cleveland State. Western Kentucky and Winthrop would spoil the fun with wins over the Tigers on the final day of play.

The University of Arkansas Tournament features a round-robin format followed by bracket play. Coach Dabney's young squad opens on Friday in Fayetteville with games against SWAC opponent Jackson State and host Arkansas. On Saturday, Northwestern State is the opponent to open the day before the teams are seeded for afternoon play. Consolation and Championship games will be played on Sunday to close out the three day event.

Returning Home
Tiger assistant coach Samantha Buckner returns to the home of her collegiate career. The second year assistant competed for the Razorbacks from 2004-07 and can still be found in the single season and career leaders section of the UA record book. Buckner is seventh all-time in home runs.

All By Herself
Freshman pitcher Shea Morris is the lone pitcher in the Ohio Valley Conference to have earned in a save in the 2012 season. Morris closed out the final two innings in the 5-3 victory over Cleveland State at the Palmetto Classic.

Leader of the Pack
Tedra Alford leads the Tigers with a .333 batting average. Alford, who topped the 2011 squad at .319, went 4-for-12 at the plate in the opening weekend. The junior is the lone Tiger to notch a triple in the first four games.

Plenty of New Faces
All eight first-year Tigers saw in action in the first tournament of the season. Seven of the newbie's started in at least two games in South Carolina.

I Have, But I Haven't
Tayler Shimizu is still looking for her first official at bat. The product from Hawai'i was issued a walk in her first plate appearance and followed with a successful sacrifice bunt in her second. Shimizu battled a minor injury to start the season which limited her to just two starts at the Palmetto Classic.

Jackson State (6-4)
2011 Record: 26-22
Conference: SWAC
2011 Finish: 14-3
Series Record: 3-0
Last Time Played: 2007, Won 8-3
Last Win: 2007, 8-3

Jackson State features a new look with nine junior college transfers led by Tayler Nave and Amanda Vasquez. Nave leads the Tigers at the plate with a .484 batting average (15-for-31), nine runs scored, three home runs, ten RBI and 14-of-16 in stolen bases. Vazquez sports a .364 average (8-for-22) with three doubles, two dingers and ten RBI. Wendi Reed, who led JSU in 2011 with 46 runs and 55 stolen bases, has three double, three homers and four stolen bases, while hitting .346 (9-for-26).

Breea Jamerson, in her second season with the Tigers, spearheads the pitching staff with a 2.93 ERA. Jamerson is 3-1 with a save in six appearances in 2012.

Arkansas (6-2)
2011 Record: 13-39
Conference: SEC
2011 Finish: 3-23
Series Record: 0-0
Last Time Played: First Meeting
Last Win: N/A

Arkansas is hitting .330 as a team and is led by senior Tori Mort with a .526 average (10-for-19) and a .625 on base percentage with three doubles, one home run and six runs scored. Devon Wallace (.458) and Katie Harrison (.400) have exploded in their freshman season. The duo share the team lead with ten RBI a piece. Wallace is the leading scorer as she has crossed home plate eight times and has shown some pop with three doubles and one home run. Harrison has left the yard twice along with two doubles.

Chelsea Cohen is the staff ace at 3-2 and a 1.31 ERA. She has walked just six walks to go along with 14 strikeouts in 26.2 innings. Freshman Kimmy Beasley is 2-0 in three starts and has registered a 1.50 ERA. The lefty has fanned ten batters in 14 innings of work.

Northwestern State (2-8)
2011 Record: 32-25
Conference: Southland
2011 Finish: 15-17
Series Record: 0-0
Last Time Played: First Meeting
Last Win: N/A

Northwestern State returns a pitching trio who combined for a 2011 ERA of 1.92 and 401 strikeouts, with each fanning over 100 batters a piece. Kelee Grimes leads the staff at this point in 2012 with 44 k's in 26.1 innings in 2012 and is 1-4 with a 3.99 ERA.

Tara McKenney is at the top of the Demons hitting chart with a .310 average. McKenney has two stolen bases, two runs and a triple on the early season. Cassandra has driven in a team high five runs on 6-for-24 hitting (.250).