NASHVILLE --- Tori Hart scattered 11 hits and a walk to help Tennessee State snap a six game skid with a 5-3 win over Alabama State on Friday evening at Tiger Field. TSU dropped the opener 12-3, moving to 4-7, while the Hornets improved to 3-7.
Hart (3-2) and the Tiger defense continued to work out of jams, stranding nine Hornets on base. TSU took full advantage of their opportunities as they scored five runs on six hits, a walk and two batters hit by pitch.
The Tigers trailed the entirety of game one and looked to fall behind in the first inning of the night cap. The Hornets Perry Hindi drove a double to centerfield to chase Valerie Centeno around the bases. Tiger’s centerfielder Courtney Gearlds tracked down the ball and fired to shortstop Danica Gleason who continued the relay with a perfect strike to Whitney Ennis who denied Centeno home plate.
TSU responded in their half of the opening frame to take a lead for the first time on the day. Selena Crafton was plunked on the right forearm to give TSU a leadoff runner. Crafton used her speed as she advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Gearlds. Two pitches later, Crafton put the Tigers on the board as she scored on a passed ball.
After ASU evened the score in the top of the third, the Tigers answered with runs in the bottom of the inning. Chelsea Buchanan, who entered in place of Crafton, opened with a single and advanced to second as Gearlds was hit by a pitch for the 33rd time in her career. The senior is one HBP shy of the career lead in the TSU record books.
Danica Gleason followed with a single up the middle driving in Buchanan and advancing to second as Gearlds moved to third. TSU continued their attack as Erica O’Kane executed a squeeze bunt allowing Gearlds to score. The Tigers increased its lead to 4-1 as Gleason and Patton Akers pulled off a double steal.
TSU added an insurance run in the fourth as Sarah Snell crossed home plate on a throwing error by the Hornets attempting to retire Gearlds. Hart would make the lead hold up as she retired the final three batters of the game.
In the opener, ASU collected 16 hits and scored multiple runs in four of the six innings.
Trailing 7-1 in the fifth, the Tigers attempted a comeback with a two out rally. Gleason and Kim Trice produced back-to-back hits driving in two runs to get back within four at 7-3. The Tigers continued the threat as they loaded the bases before Vanessa Bradford (3-3) registered the final out of the inning.
Lauren Woodard (0-2) suffered the loss as she was touched for seven runs, four earned, on eight hits.
TSU will return to action on Saturday as they host Evansville for a double header. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. at Tiger Field.