HOUSTON – The Lady Tigers of Texas Southern University claimed their 10th consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division championship Friday after defeating Prairie View A&M 5-0 in their regular-season finale.
Naomi Reyes tossed a four-hit shutout as she struck out seven batters and didn’t issue a walk to improve her season record to 10-7. Reyes retired 12 of the last 13 batters she faced.
The game was the second contest completed by the two teams Friday, as they opened the day by resuming a contest that was suspended due to rain on March 30. The Lady Panthers won that game 4-1.
With the doubleheader split, the Lady Tigers (20-25) finished conference play with a record of 16-1. Second-place PVAMU fell to 15-3 in the SWAC’s West Division standings.
Needing to win the second game in order to claim the division championship, the Lady Tigers wasted little time giving Reyes a lead, as Lauryn Banks knocked a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to score herself and A’Leecia Bell.
Tevanae Tate stretched TSU’s lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth when she knocked home run with Marissa Padron on base. Madi Marek added a bases-loaded single in the fifth inning to score Terren Vinson; Marek had two hits in the game.
The opening game resumed in the fifth inning with Prairie View A&M leading 3-0. The Lady Panthers had scored three unearned runs in the fourth inning, and then added to their lead in the sixth inning when play resumed Friday. TSU’s Julia Bilbao knocked a double in the bottom of the sixth to score Haley Castro for the Lady Tigers’ only run.
The Lady Tigers head to Montgomery, Ala., for the SWAC Tournament, which begins play Wednesday. TSU will face the No. 4-seeded team from the East Division, Jackson State. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.