RUSTON, La. – The Texas Southern softball team put on a power display as they combined for four home runs in a 10-2, 5-3 doubleheader win over Grambling State Sunday at the Ruston Sports Complex.
TSU 10, GSU 2
Texas Southern opened the game with a homer and closed out its scoring with another homer as they won 10-2 in the opener.
Pamela Richardson led the contest off with a bunt and moved into scoring position shortly thereafter after a stolen base and a grounder. With two outs, Tevanae Tate put TSU on the board for the first time with a homer for the 2-0 lead.
The lead increased to 4-0 after the top of the second as Daryn Haslam led the inning off with a single followed by a GSU error which allowed Mila Rodriguez to reach first. A wild pitch moved both runners over which set up Ja’Lynn Swiney’s sac fly for a 3-0 lead. Ashling Shahan also recorded a sac bunt to score Rodriguez for the inning’s second run.
Grambling State would add runs in the second and third frames to draw within 4-2 but TSU moved ahead 5-2 in the fifth as Tate tripled home Crimson Davis. Grambling State loaded the bases with only one out in the bottom frame but came up short as TSU starter Naomi Reyes recorded a strike out and fly out to end the inning.
An RBI by Paige Jackson upped the lead to 6-2 in the seventh which set up Julia Bilbao’s grand slam to left for the 10-2 lead.
Tate finished 3-for-3 with two runs and three RBI while Richardson, Davis and Rodriguez had two hits apiece. Bilbao led the team with four RBI and Reyes struck out nine as she went the distance.
TSU 5, GSU 3
Game two was nearly a mirror image of game one as Danielle Sonnier hit a clutch two-run homer in the seventh along with a nine-strikeout outing from Jazmine Gendorf as TSU won 5-3.
An error allowed GSU to reach base in the third which came back to haunt TSU as a sac bunt RBI scored the game’s first run for Grambling State. The lead would be brief as Ashlin Moreno drew a leadoff walk to open the fourth and two batters later, Tate once again displayed her power with a two-run homer for a 2-1 TSU lead.
Grambling State moved ahead 3-1 after the fifth and was poised to get out of the top of the sixth without damage but Tate drew a two-out walk and Julia Bilbao came through in the clutch with an RBI triple to score Tate and tie the contest at 3-all.
Gendorf struck out two of the three batters in the bottom of the sixth and once again, TSU came through as a GSU error with two outs allowed Ashling Shahan to reach base. Head coach Raven Rodriguez inserted pinch hitter Danielle Sonnier in an attempt to generate offense and Sonnier came through in a big way with a two-run homer to center for the go-ahead runs.
Gendorf and the TSU defense had a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to close out the doubleheader.
Tate and Sonnier led TSU with two RBI apiece while Tate also scored twice with a hit. Gendorf went the distance with nine strikeouts while only allowing two hits.
Saturday’s postponed contest against Grambling State will be tentatively played late next weekend on a date and site to be determined. TSU is back in action next Wednesday, April 28, with a home game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Memorial Park.