Nashville, Tenn. – The Tigers used a solid pitching performance and aggressive base running to earn an Ohio Valley Conference split with UT Martin on Saturday afternoon. TSU won the first game 4-2 before dropping game two, 13-0 in five innings.
Tennessee State is now 10-20 on the season and 1-4 in conference play. UTM moved to 18-9, 2-2 in the OVC.
Jennifer Givens sparked TSU in the first inning with a leadoff single and moved to second as the throw got away from the fielders. On the next pitch, Givens stole third base and scampered home as the throw trickled into left field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
TSU added a run in the fourth as they took advantage of a Skyhawk error. After singles by Lindsey Burgess and Kate Morris, Jayna Hanawahine hit a grounder to third for what looked to be the third out of the inning. An errant throw by the Skyhawks allowed Burgess to cross home plate for a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers added to the lead with two more runs in the fifth inning. TSU used three consecutive hits by Givens, Kiarra Freeman, and Audrey Sensing, with the final hit chasing Givens home. Ashley Haynes drove in the final run on a groundball out to first that allowed Freeman to score and make the score 4-0.
The score was just enough as UTM tried to make a comeback with two runs in the final inning. Shea Morris worked the first six innings allowing just three infield singles. UT Martin challenged in the top of the seventh as they put together three hits, but could only manage two runs. Morris (7-9) gave up the six hits, while striking out seven, including all three outs to close out the game.
In the second game, the Skyhawks took advantage of five Tiger errors and scored 12 unearned runs in route to a 13-0 win. Kenzi Tate (10-1) held TSU to just two hits and struck out five over five innings.
Givens reached base four out of six plate appearances on the day. She earned two hits, a walk, a hit-by-pitch and stole two bases.
TSU will host Southeast Missouri State in an OVC doubleheader on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm. A live audio broadcast can be heard on tsutigers.com.
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