Softball Recaps: May 3
Texas Southern 4, Alcorn State 0
Alcorn State 4, Texas Southern 3
LORMAN, Miss. - In a battle of last season's respective division champions, Alcorn State and Texas Southern split in a doubleheader during Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) action. Texas Southern (21-16-1, 12-5 SWAC) won 4-0 in game one, but Alcorn State (14-32, 11-6 SWAC) rallied to win game two 4-3 in walk-off fashion.
With today's results, tomorrow's series finale looms large for both sides. A Texas Southern win would clinch the Western Division for the Lady Tigers. If Alcorn prevails, it would wrap up the Eastern Division for the Lady Braves.
Lauren Rodriguez improved to 11-1 on the year after holding the Lady Braves' lineup to just one hit in 6.0 innings of work. Rodriguez carried a no-hitter into the fifth, where Ashley Arnold broke things up with a double to left and advanced to third on an error. Rodriguez then sat down Mariah Ortiz and forced Amari Ramsey to pop out, ending the inning.
Texas Southern tacked on its first run in the fourth when Julia Bilbao singled home Emma Ortiz, who reached via error. The Lady Tigers then added three runs in the seventh, sparked by a bunt single from Madi Marek. After moving to second on a wild pitch, Marek scored on a RBI double to center from Danielle Sonnier. A'Leecia Bell -- who pinch ran for Sonnier -- touched up home plate thanks to a wild pitch, and Terren Vinson scored on a Tevanae Tate sacrifice fly.
After Rodriguez walked Robin Harrsion to start the seventh, Tyra Williams came on to close the deal. Though she walked Malea Dickerson and allowed Harrison and Dickerson to advance into scoring position on a wild pitch, Williams retired the final two Lady Braves hitters to seal it.
Jocilynn Ellis and Bilbao each had a pair of hits. Rodriguez fanned seven in the winning effort. Ambria Dorsey took the loss, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on five hits in 6.1 innings of work.
Victoria Tyler was the hero for the Lady Braves, as she slapped a walk-off single to score Desirea Lindsey, who led off the bottom of the seventh with a bunt single. Lindsey (2-for-4) then stole second, setting the stage for Tyler's winning hit.
Texas Southern jumped ahead of Alcorn early on, as Ebony Wiltz (3-for-4, R) singled off of Lady Braves starter Paige Taylor and later scored on an RBI triple from Tate. Tate (2-for-4, 2 R crossed home plate to make it 2-0 Lady Tigers after a RBI groundout from Dominique Tello.
Alcorn threatened in its half of the inning after Tyler (3-for-4) slapped a double off of TSU starter Jasmin Fulmore, but Fulmore regrouped to strike out Robin Harrison and end the frame. After a scoreless second -- during which TSU stranded runners on the corners -- the Lady Tigers added to their lead as Tate singled and later scored on a RBI sacrifice fly from Bilbao. However, TSU failed to add to its lead, stranding two more runners.
The Lady Braves finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth, as back-to-back fielding errors allowed two on for Alcorn. Lindsey hit a RBI single to score pinch-hitter Teona Bowels, and Taylor Hughes tied it with a two-run single, chasing Fulmore and bringing on Mariah Youngblood in relief. Youngblood retired the next three hitters to end the inning, and both sides traded scoreless frames in the sixth.
Amari Ramsey was 2-for-4 with two runs scored for Alcorn.
Harrison picked up the win, throwing 4.2 innings of scoreless relief to improve to 3-10. Youngblood was charged with the loss, throwing 2.1 innings and allowing three hits.