UT MARTIN SOFTBALL SPEEDS PAST TENNESSEE TECH TO STEAL OVC SWEEP
March 25, 2018
Game 1: Boxscore PDF
Game 2: Boxscore PDF
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team was aggressive on the basepaths to jump start the team’s offense on Sunday afternoon, stealing nine bases in the doubleheader to surge past Tennessee Tech for an Ohio Valley Conference sweep by scores of 9-4 and 3-2.
The Skyhawks (16-18, 2-2 OVC) moved to .500 in the league standings with a sweep of the team’s second OVC series of the young season after a pair of strong performance against the Golden Eagles. UT Martin swiped nine stolen bases on the afternoon while posting a .353 batting average to outscore its competitor 12-6 on the afternoon.
Junior Lauren Myers paced the squad with four hits on the day while tallying two stolen bases and a RBI. The trio of Veronica Pezzoni, Jodie Duncan and Savannah Dodson each notched three base hits on the day while combining to record three stolen bases. Meanwhile it was timely hitting by Aeron Smith (three RBIs) and Alli Fulcher (two RBIs) to punctuate the day’s scoring.
The starting pair of Caitlin Karo (9-6, 2.31 ERA) and Hannah Ridolfi (7-9, 2.56 ERA) both picked up victories in the contest while sophomore Seeley Layne notched her first save of the season in the second half of the doubleheader. Karo allowed two earned runs over six innings of work while Ridolfi allowed four in seven innings. Layne allowed two hits in relief but notched a scoreless inning of relief.
Game 1: UT Martin 9, Tennessee Tech 4
UT Martin wasted very little time coming out aggressive in the contest, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. A leadoff single by Pezzoni to start the inning would mark the team’s lone hit of the inning before swiping second. Following a walk to Fulcher, she would be pulled for Halie Fain to pinch run. With runners on the corners, Fain stole second before the game’s first run came home to score on a wild pitch. Another walk would lead to more chaos as two runs scored on a fielding error to make it a 3-0 contest.
The Skyhawks struck again for three more runs in the bottom of the third. Singles by Dodson and Myers put a pair of runners on base before both coming home to score on a two-run double by Fulcher to left center. Looking for another hit, Duncan added a double of her own to score Fulcher and take a six-run advantage.
Tennessee Tech notched its first run of the game in the top of the third. A pair of base hits led off the inning before a single through the left side by Jessie Lowery put the Golden Eagles on the board.
UT Martin continued to add to its margin in the bottom half of the third with two more runs. The Skyhawks would find runners on second and third with one out before Pezzoni singled to left center for her lone RBI of the day. The 1-2 punch would continue is Myers kept the ball rolling with a single up the middle to take an 8-1 lead.
The game looked to end early as the Skyhawks took an eight-run lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Gracyn McBride led off the inning with a double to right center. Later the Skyhawks would have runners on second and third before Smith dumped a RBI single into left center to score the team’s ninth run.
Tennessee Tech would not go down quietly however, scoring three runs in the final innings of play. Sydney Love-Baker would play a big part in the team’s offensive rally, tallying a single up the middle in the fifth inning to score a run before smacking a two-run single to left in the top of the sixth. Despite the late effort by the Golden Eagles, the Skyhawks would secure the 9-4 victory.
Game 2: UT Martin 3, Tennessee Tech 2
Unlike the first contest of the day, offense would be at a premium in the early innings. The Skyhawks would finally crack the scoring column, scoring all of the team’s runs in the bottom of the fourth. With the game tied at zero, Smith would come through with a clutch two-run double off the wall to take the lead. The team would notch their third run of the inning on a RBI groundout off the bat of Alicia Hansen later in the frame.
Tennessee Tech got on the board in the top of the sixth inning as Beth McCulley and Lowery tallied back-to-back single to start the frame. With one out, Gabby LaSala would score TTU’s first run on a sacrifice fly to cut the margin to 3-1.
The Golden Eagles would continue to chip away at the margin in the top of the seventh inning as Taylor Thomas led off the inning with a solo home run to centerfield to trim the lead down to one run. Needing to secure the victory, the Skyhawks turned the game over to Layne in the seventh who allowed a pair of base hits but would strand the game’s potential tying run at second base to seal the 3-2 win.
Weather permitting, the Skyhawks will return to action on Wednesday, March 28 against Bethel. First pitch from Bettye Giles Field is scheduled for 5 p.m.