ARLINGTON, Texas - A pair of big innings was the story as TSU softball dropped its first two games at the Maverick Classic on Friday to Kent State and Texas Arlington.
KENT STATE 6, TSU 2
A three-run third inning broke open an even contest as Kent State claimed a 6-2 decision in the opener.
Kent State crossed home a run in the first for a 1-0 lead and TSU missed a golden opportunity to tie the game in the second as Tevanae Tate opened with a leadoff double and advanced to third with no outs. However, Kent State forced a groundout and back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning. The deficit increased to 2-0 after two innings of action via a two-out RBI single by Kent State but TSU answered in the third as Zariah Robins scored on Daryn Haslam's RBI single followed by Paige Jackson's RBI double for a 2-2 tie.
The momentum was short-lived as Kent State scored three times in the third to claim a 5-2 lead. The Tiger offense stalled from that point due to strikeouts as Kent State added another run in the late innings for the win.
Five players had a hit while Haslam walked twice. Mariah Youngblood was tagged with the loss in 2.2 innings of action.
UTA 8, TSU 0
The big inning once again haunted TSU as UTA scored five runs in the fourth to fuel an 8-0 win in the nightcap.
TSU once again had a chance to set the tone as Ebony Wiltz worked her way to third base in the opening inning but an inning-ending strikeout would leave her on. UTA opened the first with a leadoff single and played small ball as back-to-back bunts moved runners into scoring position. They would move ahead 1-0 after an RBI groundout. For the second straight inning, TSU saw another effort stall as they had runners in scoring position before an inning-ending groundout.
The contest remained scoreless until the fourth as UTA opened with a double followed by a TSU wild pitch and walk. UTA would move ahead 2-0 with an RBI single followed by a three-run homer for a 5-0 lead. Four batters later, they tacked on another run on a fielder's choice.
UTA scored again in the fifth and sixth to lead 8-0 and trigger the run-rule.
Four Tigers recorded a hit offensively as Naomi Reyes was credited with the loss after two innings of action.
TSU starts the second day with an 11:30 a.m. contest versus Missouri-Kansas City and Kent State at 2 p.m.
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Courtesy: TSU Athletics