Title image via TSU Athletics
Courtesy of Scott Wallace, Tennessee State Athletics
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— The Tennessee State University Tigers softball team (14-14-1, 5-3 OVC) will return on the road on Wednesday when they travel to Birmingham, Alabama, to take on the UAB Blazers (16-16, 5-4 C-USA). The two teams met in Nashville on March 15, with UAB winning 2-1. Tiger pitcher Caitlyn Manus took the tough luck loss in relief when she gave up an unearned run in the fifth inning.
The Tigers have enjoyed four different four-game unbeaten streaks this season. They started the season sweeping the four-game River City Classic. After tying the University of Incarnate Word on the road, they traveled to Lindenwood and swept them in a three-game series. In the next game, TSU defeated the SEMO Redhawks to start the OVC at 4-0. The victory broke a 14-game losing streak to SEMO, and it was the first home win over the Redhawks since April 3, 2005.
After conquering the SEMO streak, the Tigers traveled to UT-Martin and broke an 18-game losing streak this past Sunday. Freshman Holly Ayala threw a four-hit complete game shutout to break the streak. It also was the first time that TSU defeated them in Martin.
The two teams’ common opponents this season are McNeese State and Lindenwood. Both teams lost to McNeese State, and the Tigers went 3-0 against Lindenwood, while UAB defeated them in their only matchup.
The Matchup: Tennessee State Tigers (14-14-1) at UAB Blazers (16-16)
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 29|| 4:30 p.m. (CST)
Live Stats: http://statb.us/b/453466
Location: Mary Bowers Field | Birmingham, Ala.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS:
- Freshman Holly Ayala lived up to her “Five Foot Giant” nickname when she shut down UT Martin in Game 1 of their Sunday doubleheader. The diminutive Ayala was in command all game, surrendering four hits in her complete game shutout.
- Freshman catcher Onnika Spencer has been solid in her first collegiate campaign. She leads the Tigers in batting average (.317), home runs (six), RBI (20), and slugging percentage (.622).
- Graduate student Nahtali Simpsoncontinued her solid work at shortstop. Against Martin, she made three spectacular plays behind Ayala to support their Sunday victory.
- Sophomore Peyton Fointno leads the OVC in putouts (194) and double plays (11).
- Caitlyn Russell is 5-0 with only four starts this season.
- Sierra Frazier leads the team with eight home runs and 23 RBI.
- UAB is coming off a three-game sweep of Florida International University.
The Tigers will be back at home this weekend when they take on Eastern Illinois in a three-game series.