Columbia, S.C. – Tennessee State dropped the opening game of the Carolina Classic on Friday afternoon. The Tigers lost a 9-1 five inning ballgame to Marshall and fell to 3-5 on the season. The win propels the Thundering Herd to 12-3.
Starting pitcher Taylor Green held early, but Marshall chipped away at the junior pitcher with a run in the second and two in the third, before touching home plate four times in the fourth. Green was saddled with the first loss of her career at TSU and is now 3-1.
Marshall starter Jordan Dixon improved to 11-3 as she was able to silence the Tiger offense for the first four innings. Courtney Gearlds opened the game with a leadoff single, but was cut down trying to steal second two pitches later. Lauren Dreitlein picked up just the second hit off Dixon with a fourth inning double to the wall in right field.
Dixon would leave the game after issuing back-to-back walks to Tayler Shimizu and pinch hitter Chelsea Buchanan in the fifth. Brittanie Fowler entered for the Herd and was met with a single up the middle off the bat of Danica Gleason to load the bases with no outs.
The first true threat by the Tigers ran into an obstacle as Gearlds hit a line drive up the middle that was caught by second baseman Elicia D’Orazio. The middle infielder was able to tag a diving Buchanan just before she could reach the bag.
Kailey Richard followed with what appeared to be a two-run double down the left field line to cut the score to 7-2. Marshall appealed Gleason had missed second base and the call was granted to credit Richard with a single and Shimizu as the lone run for the Tigers.
The Herd added two runs in the bottom of the fifth giving them a 9-1 victory over TSU.
The Tigers will play a pair of games on day two of the three day classic. TSU opens the day squaring off with No. 24 South Alabama at 10:00am ET. The day will close with a contest with Charleston Southern at 5:30pm. Both games can be heard on tsutigers.com.