NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State women’s softball program began practice for the 2020 season on Saturday. The Tigers’ first practice was held in the Indoor Athletic Facility due to rain in the area, but was able to return to the field on Monday.
Head coach Andrea Browning enters her third season and will sport a veteran squad. The Tigers return 10 letter winners, including three pitchers.
Raven Loveless is fresh off an Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer team season where she posted an 11-13 record with a 2.96 season. Loveless will team up with redshirt senior Lauren Powell and freshman Abbey Woodall. Powell sat out the 2019 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but brings her career 210 strikeouts and 346.2 innings of experience back to the Big Blue.
Offensively, TSU returns its top six hitters with 80-plus at bats from a year ago. Bri Vire topped the Tigers with a .329 batting average, 46 hits, 23 runs and matched Katie Schneider with seven doubles. Schneider was sixth on the squad with a .233 average, while leading the team with 18 RBI. Reese Weber finished second with a .302 average, five doubles and 16 runs batted in.
Sarah Snell became the all-time leader in career walks as she piled up 24 walks during her junior campaign. Snell posted a unit leading .407 on base percentage, while collecting 30 hits, 20 runs, three doubles, two triples, three home runs, 10 walks and nine stolen bases.
Savanah Wallace and Patton Akers close out the top six batters returning by hitting at a .256 and .242 clip, respectively. The duo each recorded a home run, while Wallace was third on the team with 13 RBI.
Lauren Farias enters her sophomore season after playing 37 games last season, starting 34. Farias went 14-for-68 with seven runs and drove in five. Senior Beckey Melton returns after an injury plagued season where she was limited to 53 at bats where she registered a double, a dinger and seven RBI. Ariel Johnson tallied nine hits with three doubles and a triple during her sophomore year.
Analiegh Coursey, Ivory Jones, Marisa Mauroshadt, Kayli Mothershed, Jillian Rodriguez, and Jordan Turner join Woodall as freshmen for the 2020 season.