MVSU, TSU, JSU and A&M Win on Tourney Opening Day
IRONDALE - On a day that saw a combined nine bombs launched out of the yard, top seeds Mississippi Valley and Texas Southern, joined Jackson State and Alabama A&M in the winner's circle on Day 1 of the 2012 SWAC Softball Tournament Thursday at Shea Brothers Softball Complex.
Today, Jackson State plays Texas Southern in the second round of one bracket, while Alabama A&M faces MVSU in the other bracket at 8 p.m. In the 6 p.m. games, Alabama State will try and stay alive against UAPB and Prairie View squares off against Grambling in the other elimination game.
Jackson State 5, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 2 (Boxscore)
Jackson State jumped out to a 5-0 and held on to beat UAPB. Jasmine Warren worked six innings to earn the win. She surrendered two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three. She gave way to LeEthel Guillory, who closed out the game, pitching the final inning, allowing one hit and striking out two.
Amanda Nordberg took the loss for UAPB. She pitched six innings, allowed five runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out three.
In addition to her work in the circle, Warren also went 2-for-2 at the plate, with a home run. Centerfielder Tayler Nave also had two hits, including a solo homer. Sabeana Romero added a third solo shot for JSU. Each of the home runs were on the first pitch.
Valerie Higareda and Jasmine Hardwrick had two hits apiece to lead UAPB, while CeCe Kolesar had a double and two RBI.
Alabama A&M 4, Prairie View 3 (Boxscore)
Alabama A&M spotted Prairie View a 3-0 lead before roaring back to win. PVAM scored three runs in the third inning. Brittanie Gardner led off with a solo home run and two more scored on Alisa Navarro's double.
The Lady Bulldogs capitalized on PVAM errors to get back into the game. In the fourth inning, Shaquille Morris reached on an error, then wound up scoring as the Lady Panthers threw the ball around. Then, A&M evened the score on Brianna Zeigler RBI triple and a sacrifice squeeze bunt by Raven Grubbs.
The Lady Bulldogs took the lead in the sixth inning when Morris scored on another sacrifice bunt by Cassandra Brown.
PVAM had a pair of hits in the last two innings, but never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Brown was the winning pitcher, working the final 4 2/3 innings in relief of starter Anisa Britt. She allowed two hits, but held PVAM scoreless. She had a walk and two strikeouts.
PVAM pitcher Cally Falls took the loss. She allowed only two hits while striking out eight, three of the four A&M runs were earned. Falls also issued two free passes.
Zeigler and Morris had the two A&M hits. Zeigler tripled and had an RBI. For PVAM, Kelly Scruggs was 2-for-3 with a double. Navarro doubled and drove in two runs, while Gardner homered and had one RBI.
Texas Southern 9, Alabama State 5 (Boxscore)
Texas Southern blew open a close game with five runs in the sixth inning, then held off a furious rally by Alabama State to advance.
The Lady Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on the strength of back-to-back home runs by Gianna Robinson and Yesenia Torres.
ASU fought back with runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game at 2-2. But, TSU answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead.
The flood gates opened for the Lady Tigers in the sixth inning. Three of the five runs came on one swing of the bat. With the bases loaded, Brianna Parker doubled to clear the deck. Two more runs scored and when the smoke cleared, TSU had a 9-2 lead.
ASU didn't go away quietly, rallying for three runs in the seventh inning. But, the threat fizzled when Breeya Wright lined out with runners in scoring position and the tying run on deck.
Robinson was 3-for-3 for TSU with a homer, triple, walk and two RBI. Parker and Torres had two hits and three RBI each.
Brehanna Rodrigues and Sosefina Toilolo had three hits apiece to lead Bama State. Toilolo had a home run, a double and two RBI.
JoAnn Herrera got the win for TSU. She pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief of starter Rebecca Villarreal who pitched the first 4 2/3 innings. Herrera gave up three runs on four hits and walked one.
Bailey Patt, who shut out TSU at the SWAC round-up earlier this season, was saddled with the loss. She was tagged for nine runs, only four were earned. She allowed 11 hits and five walks, while earning four strikeouts.
Mississippi Valley State 7, Grambling State 3 (Boxscore)
Grambling struck first, but East top seed Mississippi Valley State rebounded to roll into the second round.
Centerfielder Mikiesha Henson homered in the second inning to give GSU a 1-0 lead. But, MVSU responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take control of the game.
The Devilettes added a run in the third inning on an RBI double by Alexandra Sullivan, making the score 4-1.
GSU got one of the runs back when Hilary Velasquez stole home in the top of the fourth inning, but MVSU came back with three in the bottom of the inning to put the game away. Two of the runs came on a 2-run home run by catcher Nicole Burr. The three runs gave the Devilettes a commanding 7-2 lead.
Brianna Holmes and Diana Prada had two hits apiece for MVSU. Burr homered and had a pair of RBI, while Holmes also plated two runs. All but one of the batters in the Mississippi Valley starting lineup had at least one hit.
Grambling had three players with at least one hit. Henson, Bridgette Simmons and Cabrayanna Turner all had two hits for the Lady Tigers.
Kimberly Spivey was the winning pitcher for MVSU. She went the distance to earn the complete game. She allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks. She also struck out 11.
Aneshia Higgins was the losing pitcher for GSU. She gave up seven runs on 10 hits and walked seven. She also had two strikeouts.