NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State jumped out early to earn its second consecutive win in Ohio Valley Conference play on Saturday evening at Tiger Field. The Tigers scored three in the second and scratched an important insurance run in the sixth to hold on to a 4-3 win over the Bruins.
TSU gave starting pitcher Taylor Green an opportunity to pitch with a lead and she responded by scattering seven hits over the first six innings, holding the Bruins to one run. The junior ran into trouble in the seventh, making way for Jasmine Matchen who came in to face two Bruins before securing her third save of the season.
The Tiger offense took charge in the second inning with a two-out rally. Lindsey Buirgess legged out a single to right field to get things started. After a Tayler Shimizu walk, Cariona Hassell singled to center to chase home Burges for the early 1-0 lead. On the play, Shimizu and Hassell advanced a base as the ball would get away from catcher Chelsey Deloney.
Danica Gleason capped off the rally with a single to right center, allowing Shimizu and Hassell to score. Belmont cut into the Tigers 3-0 lead as Jess Andree notched her second hit of the evening and drove in Jordan Daley, making the score 3-1.
In the sixth, TSU used a little trickery to increase its lead to 4-1. With bases loaded Shimizu broke for third to draw a throw from home, which gave Burgess a chance to swipe home plate.
The run is the 29th on the season for Burgess, leaving her one shy of the single season record.
The Tiger score proved to be important as the Bruins charged back with a pair of runs in the seventh. Deloney singled up the middle to plate Kayla Wells just ahead of a pinch hit single by Jessica Wilson to bring home Kat Hollingsworth.
The BU comeback would end there as Matchen enticed a groundout, allowing Joselynn Yates to step on third to end the game. TSU improved to 11-35, 4-20 in conference play, while Belmont fell to 11-32, 6-16 in the OVC.
The two teams will close out the season with a twin bill on Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:00pm. The Tigers will honor seniors, Morris and Shimizu, prior to game one.