SOFTBALL SKYHAWKS SWEEP DAY TWO OF LION CLASSIC TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED
February 11, 2017
Coppin State: Boxscore PDF
Army: Boxscore PDF
HAMMOND, La. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team posted another impressive showing on Day Two of the Lion Classic hosted by Southeastern Louisiana, picking up a pair of victory against Coppin State (8-0) and Army (5-3) on Saturday afternoon.
The Skyhawks (3-0) remained undefeated on the season behind a balanced offensive attack and strong pitching performances. As a whole, the squad posted a .381 batting average over the two games, tallying 16 hits, four doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs. In the pitcher’s circle, the squad notched a 1.75 ERA, allowing just three earned runs over 12 innings of work while holding opponents to a .182 batting average.
Sophomore Lauren Myers paced the Skyhawks with four base hits on the day while classmate Alli Fulcher joined in the action with three base knocks. The trio of Rachel Williams, Aeron Smith and Renate Meckl each notched two hits each. Williams led all players with five RBIs while Myers, Smith, Meckl, Jodie Duncan and Gracyn McBride each drove in a run.
Game 1: UT Martin 8, Coppin State 0 (Five innings)
UT Martin would waste little time getting on the scoreboard in the team’s first game of the day. Carly Gonzales would get the squad going by drawing a four-pitch walk before Myers reached base on a bunt single. Looking to move the two players into scoring position, Williams would lay down a sacrifice bunt to get the pair on second and third. Meckl then put the Skyhawks on the scoreboard with a RBI double to right center to score Gonzales. The pair of Myers and Meckl would later come around to score via a sacrifice fly and a RBI single by Duncan to take a 3-0 advantage.
The Skyhawks added to their lead in the second inning as Dodson led off the frame with a double into the left center gap before coming around to score on the following at-bat off an error. With Gonzales reaching base once again on the error, the senior would eventually come around to score on a double to left by Williams after swiping both second and third.
Playing as the home squad in the contest, the Skyhawks would score in their third consecutive inning with a pair of runs in the third. Fulcher would get the inning started with an infield single before coming around to score on a double to left off the bat of Smith. The junior catcher would stay aggressive on the basepaths as Smith ultimately gave the squad a 7-0 advantage by stealing home.
UT Martin would look to put the contest away early in the fifth inning. Freshman Gabby Zizzi would single to second before swiping second to move into scoring position on the following play. Later in the inning a bunt single by Myers would result in Zizzi scoring on the play following a throwing error. With the score, UT Martin took an 8-0 lead resulting the mercy rule to end the contest.
A pair of newcomers posted strong pitching performances in the contest. Sophomore Sara Hooten (1-0) notched her first career start by allowing just two hits in four scoreless innings of work. Hooten also struck out three while allowing just one walk. Freshman Samantha Scott appeared in relief, posting a scoreless inning of work.
Game 2: UT Martin 5, Army 3
Army would open the game’s scoring in the top of the second inning. After a simple groundout to start the inning, Madison Cole homered to left center to put the Golden Knights on top.
Facing its first deficit of the game, UT Martin would quickly respond in the bottom half of the second. Fulcher would lead off the inning with a single to left field before moving into scoring position following a sacrifice bunt by Smith. The Skyhawks would then benefit from back-to-back walks by Jessie Douglas and Dodson to load the bases. Myers would keep the bases loaded after notching a single to left field to score a run. With the bases still full, Williams would notch the first home run of her Skyhawk career with a grand slam to left field. Following the big offensive inning, the Skyhawks would hold a 5-1 advantage.
The Black Knights would look to get back into the contest in the top of the fifth inning. Still trailing by four runs, a double by Emily Ballesteros would cut into the margin before a groundout off the bat of Emily Gray trimmed the deficit to 5-3.
Army would look to look to find the equalizer in both the sixth and seventh innings. Despite tallying a pair of base hits, the Black Knights would leave a pair of runners on base in both innings before ultimately falling short.
Senior Brooke Kennedy (2-0) picked up her second win of the season after scattering six base hits over seven innings of work. Kennedy struck out five while allowing three earned runs.
UT Martin will look to complete a perfect appearance in the Lion Classic on Sunday, Feb. 12 when taking on Mississippi Valley State. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.