By Jordan Kendall, Assistant Sports Editor
Photo courtesy of towsontigers.com
After splitting the first four games of the season, the Tigers split another four games in the Coastal Carolina Tournament on Saturday and Sunday in Conway, South Carolina.
The series wrapped up Sunday afternoon as the Tigers took care of Presbyterian 9-1. Junior pitcher Julia Smith-Harrington started the game with a double, allowing senior utility Nicole Stockinger and junior first baseman Madison Wilson to score the first two runs.
Head Coach Lisa Costello has been thrilled with Smith-Harrington’s play so far.
“She’s swinging really well right now. She’s swinging at good pitches and she worked hard,” Costello said. “It’s fun to see someone who worked as hard as she did get results.”
Freshman left fielder Nicole Kidwiler hit a single in the second inning and collected an RBI as senior outfielder Kendall Arcia scored. Presbyterian scored a run in the fourth, but were shut out by the Tigers the remainder of the game.
Arcia hit a home run in the fifth in the fourth as Towson scored the final five runs of the game.
Towson started Sunday with a matchup versus Marshall and came out victorious 3-2. Sophomore catcher Riley Theis got the scoring started in the second inning with a triple, allowing Smith-Harrington and freshman pitcher Sara Johnson to cross home plate.
Johnson continued to impact the game in the fourth, stealing second and setting up freshman third baseman Chloe Poulich to steal home plate. A two run home run in the sixth inning from the Thundering Herd made it a one score game, but Johnson’s complete game on the mound allowed the Tigers to hold on. She struck out eight batters, allowing four hits and two runs.
The Tigers played game two on Saturday against the hometown Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Wilson led off the game and immediately hit a home run to give Towson a 1-0 lead.
Through the first three innings, Johnson did not give up a hit, recording six strikeouts. That changed, however, the following inning as Chanticleers sophomore outfielder Courtney Dean homered to tie the game at 1-1.
“Her pitch count was down, that was huge,” Costello said. “She was really efficient so we had no problem stretching her out.”
Stockinger gave the Tigers the lead in the fifth with a home run to center field. Coastal Carolina tied the game at two with a home run in the bottom of the fifth by freshman infielder Abbey Montoya. Theis scored off a base hit from Poulich. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Coastal Carolina scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth and defeated Towson 5-3.
After a weather delay pushed the start time back 90 minutes, the Tigers fell in game one losing 5-0 to the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky.
The Colonels went ahead 3-0 in the first with three different players hitting home runs. The Tigers failed to get anything going on offense as two innings saw three batters sat down in order.
Towson’s kryptonite was the ground out, causing seven of its outs with three straight to close the fourth inning. Arcia was the only Tiger with multiple hits as seven batters failed to record a hit.
Freshman pitcher Julia Jackson struggled on the mound surrendering all five of Eastern Kentucky’s runs and seven of EKU’s nine hits.
“That was her first start of her career, once she settled down she did a good job,” Costello said.
Senior second baseman Hannah Clark hit two of the home runs including one in the fifth to conclude the scoring.
Towson heads back on the road to Greenville, SC for the Furman Tournament. The first game against Tennessee Tech is scheduled for a noon first pitch on Friday, February 22.