JACKSON, Miss. --- Tennessee State early and often to claim its second consecutive win over Jackson State. The Tigers closed out the JSU Tournament with a 17-11 victory over the host Tigers and finished 3-1 on the weekend.
Danica Gleason registered her second four-hit game of the season, finishing 4-for-5, giving her 10 hits in 14 at bats (.714) over the first three days of the season. Courtney Gearlds and Abi Stephens joined in the Tigers hitting attack with two hits apiece.
Despite being outhit by Jackson State, 16-10, the Tigers continued to put pressure on their opponents with nine walks and taking advantage of nine JSU errors. TSU also put pressure on the Jackson State defense with eight stolen bases, led by freshman Selena Crafton with three. Gearlds added two swipes, while Gleason, Sarah Snell and Stephens each snagged one.
The Tigers opened the scoring with a seven run first inning. Crafton stole her first base of the day after a walk and scored on a Gearlds single to left center. Two batters later, Gearlds and Snell would score on the first hit of the day off Gleason’s bat to make the score 3-0.
The big blow came from Megan Huppee as she ripped a ball down the third base line for her first double of the season. The drive scored Maggie Syversen and Erica O’Kane and upped the TSU advantage to 6-0. Huppee would close out the scoring in the opening frame as she came home on a squeeze bunt by Crafton.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the second as the JSU defense misplayed a Gleason single, which allowed the senior and Snell to score and increasing the lead to 9-0.
Jackson State scratched a run in the second and four in the third to cut the lead to 9-5. Amanda Cabrera entered with no outs for the Tigers in place of starter Erica O’Kane and was able to escape the jam.
The Big Blue responded with a five spot in the fourth inning. Gearlds led off the inning with a single and a steal and scored on a ground out by Snell. After Gleason’s third single, the Tigers took control once again with the aid of two JSU errors, a pair of walks and three wild pitches. The 14-5 score did not last long as JSU answered with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning off reliever Tori Hart.
The freshman pitcher would settle in and surrender just one run over the next three innings as she earned the win and improve to 2-0.
The Tiger offense would add some insurance in the fifth off an RBI single by pinch hitter Kim Trice and an RBI double by Stephens.
Stephens would drive in the final run of the game in the seventh with a single up the middle, plating Gleason.
TSU returns home to host Alabama A&M and Iowa State for the Tiger Invitational. The three day tournament will begin on Friday, Feb. 17 with the Tigers and the Cyclones at 10:30 a.m.