Courtesy of Tennessee State Athletics
Southern Ind. 16-20
Winner Tennessee St. 16-21-1
W: Manus, Caitlyn (12-12) L: J. Newman (13-5)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —CaitlynManus was dealing, and the defense behind was solid on Saturday, hurling a five-hit shutout to lead the Tennessee State Tigers past the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles (16-20, 9-9 OVC) 3-0 in OVC play from Tiger Field.
Manus (12-12) went the distance against the top-hitting team in the conference for Tennessee State (16-21-1, 7-8), giving up five hits, walking four, and striking out one. The win gives the Tigers a one-game lead in the loss column over USI going into tomorrow’s pivotal doubleheader.
“For her (Manus), it is about trusting her defense,” said head coach Genee McRath. ” Today, she relaxed and let her defense make plays. A pitcher’s job is to keep the ball in the park and let your defense work, and today, she did that.”
Anayah Baker-Rowell led offensively for the Tigers, going 1-for-3 in the ballgame with a double and two RBI. Peyton Fointno put together a standout day at the plate, going 2-for-3.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Tigers scored three runs in the second inning and never looked back. After one out, Nahtali Simpson walked, a pitch hit Marisa Mauroschadt, and Fointno’s single loaded the bases. Simpson scored after a pitch also hit Mikayla Duke. After Laila Armstrong flew out to left, Baker-Rowell smacked a double down the third base line to score Mauroschadt and Fointno.
The Tigers’ defense was spectacular in the shutout. In the top of the third, with runners on first and second and two outs, the OVC’s top hitter Allie Goodin hit a single to right field. Armstrong took the ball on a hop and made a perfect cutoff throw to Fointno, who trapped the runner trying to score. Another essential defensive play came in the top of the sixth inning when Goodin hit into a double play, started by Baker-Rowell at third. Jasmine Blackburn made two diving catches during the game.
“I have been struggling lately with not trusting my defense, which is crazy because they are awesome, as you saw today,” said Manus. “I have been focusing all week on doing my thing and letting them hit the ball. They (TSU) had my back all game. (Our defense) builds momentum for me, our hitters. It’s a confidence boost. We have been struggling lately. We need to keep building off of this.”
» Manus tossed a five-hit shutout for the Tigers.
» TSU scored all of their runs in the three-run second inning.
» Tennessee State went 2-for-6 (.333) with runners in scoring position.
» Manus limited Southern Indiana to just 1-for-9 (.111) with runners in scoring position.
» Manus faced 28 Southern Indiana hitters in the game, allowing five ground balls and 13 fly balls while striking out one.
» Fointno led the Tigers at the plate, going 2-for-3. Baker-Rowell went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
» Southern Indiana was led offensively by Sammie Kihega, who went 2-for-2.
» Josie Newman led the Screaming Eagles pitching staff, throwing six innings of three-run ball.
The two teams will return to action tomorrow with a doubleheader starting at noon.