Four runs scored in the third inning by the Texas Southern Lady Tigers was the biggest factor in their series-deciding game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff as they earned a 6-2 victory Tuesday morning at Memorial Park.
Texas Southern opened the scoring in the first turn at bat when cleanup batter Tevanae Tate tripled to center field which allowed second baseman Crimson Davis to comfortably score. Their lead was short-lived though as Pine Bluff soon tied the game in the top of the third when two-hole Shanice Akins drove a two-out RBI single up the middle, finally breaking their hitless spell against TSU starter Naomi Reyes after 2.2 opening innings.
But in the bottom half of the same frame, with TSU taking advantage of Pine Bluff starter Shakeidria Hubbard’s loss of command on the mound by sending their first three batters on base in quick succession, they eventually regained the lead thanks to Tate’s 2-RBI single up the middle, propping their advantage to 3-1 for the home side. One batter later, Daryn Haslam provided a 2-run extra base hit, this time to left field, and added key insurance to TSU’s lead at 5-1.
Davis grew TSU’s lead to 6-1 in the fifth with her bases-loaded RBI single through the middle, scoring Emma Ortiz who pinch ran for designated player Danielle Sonnier. Pine Bluff finally responded to TSU’s outburst in the top of the sixth with Anne Gerwitz driving a soft single to right field which sent Akins home from second base after she first arrived on a leadoff double.
Reyes earned her seventh win of the year by pitching a complete game against Pine-Bluff, going two runs on five hits, one walk, one hit-by-pitch, and six strikeouts. Three of the hits allowed happened in the sixth, the only such instance where the visitors produced a faint semblance of offense. This is the eighth time Reyes won a game off a complete game and the third consecutive time since April 18.
Tate went 2-for-4 on a run scored, triple and three RBIs. She was supported by Haslam and Crimson Davis, who combined to provide the rest of the run output with three RBIs (Davis with one and Haslam two).
Even though postseason play starts next week, the Lady Tigers are in postseason mode already as they’re in a tight race for seeding in the SWAC West. TSU remains at home in Memorial Park for their final series of the regular season where they’ll face Southern University on Thursday at 3 p.m.