MURRAY, Ky. – Tiffany Harbin tossed her first no-hitter of the season on Sunday, when her gem led the Jacksonville State softball team to a 6-0 win at Murray State in the rubber game of an Ohio Valley Conference series.
Harbin, a sophomore from Hazel Green, Ala., mowed through the Racers (9-6, 4-2 OVC) lineup and was perfect until a sixth-inning walk gave MSU its only baserunner of the game. The gem was the third no-hitter of Harbin's young career after a pair in her freshman year that included the first in the history of the OVC Tournament. She lifted the Gamecocks (10-15, 5-1 OVC) to their second series win in as many tried so far in this conference season.
Harbin got almost all of her run support in the third inning, when a bases-loaded situation led to a Jessica Guy RBI single and then a grand slam from junior Kelci Johnston. A native of Northport, Ala., Johnston doubled her season home run and RBI totals with the big swing and also gave her ace a comfortable cushion to work with.
The Gamecocks added a run in the fifth on a throwing error by third baseman Stephanie Edwards, and Harbin cruised the rest of the way to improve to improve to 4-2 on the year.
Her second complete-game shutout of the year came one week after her first, when Harbin tossed a four-hit gem against defending champion Eastern Illinois. This one saw her strike out three and record nine ground ball outs and nine outs on fly balls. She retired the first 15 batters she faced before walking Meghan Sims to lead off the sixth.
The Gamecocks scattered 10 hits amongst seven batters, with Johnston and freshmen Shelby Holley and Savannah Sloan each recording two. Holley, a native of Pisgah, Ala., and Sloan, of Reynolds, Ga., each extended their reached base streaks. Holley has reached in all 25 games, while Sloan has reached in the last 12 games.
Shelby Kosmecki(4-3) suffered the loss after allowing three runs on five hits through the game's first 2.1 innings. Chelsey Sullivan allowed the other three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of relief. She served up Johnston's big blow.
The Gamecocks will play an OVC doubleheader at Tennessee Tech on Wednesday, with the first game beginning at 2 p.m. in Cookeville, Tenn. They will then return home to start a six-game homestand that will begin with a three-game series vs. Eastern Kentucky on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's doubleheader with the Colonels will get underway at 1 p.m.