UT MARTIN SOFTBALL SWEEPS TENNESSEE STATE ON SENIOR DAY
April 29, 2018
Game One: Boxscore PDF
Game Two: Boxscore PDF
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team treated its graduating class to a doubleheader sweep of Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State on Sunday afternoon to top off a successful Senior Day at Bettye Giles Field. The Skyhawks won the front end of the doubleheader 8-0 in five innings while completing the sweep with another dominating 5-1 decision.
The Skyhawks (25-28, 9-11 OVC) played strong in every facet of the game against the visiting Tigers. While the offense posted a dazzling .429 batting average on the day with 18 hits and 13 runs scored, the defense and pitching staff recorded zero errors while limiting TSU to just one run in 12 innings of play.
Senior Savannah Dodson posted a perfect day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a pair of RBIs while tallying three stolen bases. Sophomore Aalia Bivens also posted a strong afternoon, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs while Gracyn McBride, Alli Fulcher, Lauren Myers and Aeron Smith each recorded a pair of base knocks. McBride’s three RBIs in the doubleheader led the squad while Dodson, Paige Clark, Bivens and Myers each drove in a pair.
Hannah Ridolfi (9-16, 2.56 ERA) tossed her third shutout of the season, allowing just two hits in five innings of work. Caitlin Karo (16-9, 2.77 ERA) picked up her 16th win of the season, allowing just one earned run while striking out four in seven innings.
Game 1: UT Martin 8, Tennessee State 0 (Five innings)
UT Martin jumped out to an early advantage in the first inning as Myers drew a walk to leadoff the frame while Bivens tallied a bunt single and moved into scoring position by swiping second. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Duncan tagged a dribbler down the first base line which scored the go-ahead run.
The Skyhawks would add to their margin in the bottom of the second inning. A pair of batters would reach base to open the frame before each swiped the next base to put the duo in scoring position. A bunt single would later bring another run to score as Dodson made it all the way to second on the play. Still with runners in scoring position, Myers drove a double into the right center gap to score the pair and make it a 4-0 contest.
The third inning was Duncan leadoff the frame with a single up the middle before pinch runner Veronica Pezzoni stole second. While yet another runner was in scoring position, McBride did the heavy lifting by belting a two-run home run to left to give the Skyhawks a six run cushion.
The Skyhawks would put the game away in the fourth inning with two more runs. Alicia Hansen would score from second on a single up the middle by Dodson on the second at-bat of the game. Needing just one more run to enact the mercy rule, Bivens smoked an opposite field single to right to score Dodson from second and secure the 8-0 victory.
Game 2: UT Martin 5, Tennessee State 1
Unlike in the first game of the day, neither team would get on the scoreboard until the bottom of the third inning. A pair of singles and subsequent stolen bases by Dodson and Myers had runners in scoring position. With the go-ahead run at third, Bivens would loft a sacrifice fly to center, putting the Skyhawks on top.
The game remained at a one-run margin until the bottom of the sixth. Five hits in the inning led to a breakthrough in the margin as Bivens started the frame with a double off the left center wall. She would later come around to score on a single to right by McBride while Alexis Rogers scored on a RBI double down the left field line. With two runs already across the plate, Clark entered as a pinch hitter before scoring a pair of runs with a single up the middle to make it a 5-0 contest.
The Tigers would finally get in the scoring column in the top of the seventh inning as Ariel Johnson led off the frame with her first home run of the season, a solo shot down the left field line. Despite the late run, the Skyhawks would secure the final three outs to pick up a 5-1 victory.
UT Martin will close out the regular season with a crucial series against OVC Belmont on Sunday, May 6 as the team’s looks to secure a berth to the upcoming OVC Softball Championship. First pitch from Bettye Giles Field is scheduled for noon.