SOFTBALL SKYHAWKS SPLIT ON DAY TWO OF BLACK AND GOLD TOURNAMENT
February 18, 2017
Fort Wayne: Boxscore PDF
Akron: Boxscore PDF
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team scored 15 runs on the afternoon, pushing the team’s winning streak to seven games before completing a split of Day Two of the Black and Gold Tournament hosted by Alabama State. The Skyhawks defeated Fort Wayne 13-4 in five innings before falling to Akron 3-2.
The Skyhawks (7-1) began the day by continuing an offensive surge which saw the squad outscore its opponents by 27 runs during the course of the tournament. In the early game the Skyhawks scored 13 runs on 16 hits before struggling in a rematch against Akron, scoring two runs while being held to just four hits on the day.
Sophomore Lauren Myers paced the Skyhawks with four base hits on the afternoon along with a pair of stolen bases while Renate Meckl, Alli Fulcher, Jessie Douglas, Savannah Dodson, Aeron Smith, Jodie Duncan and Carly Gonzales all tallied multi-hit afternoons. Dodson hit the team’s lone home run on the day while Fulcher and Duncan led the team with three RBIs each.
Game 1: UT Martin 13, Fort Wayne 4 (Five innings)
After the start of the day was delayed by a hour due to rain in the area, UT Martin would not be affected by the delay. The Skyhawks would lead off the first innings with a single to left by Carly Gonzales to start the game before quickly moving into scoring position by swiping second base. Another single by Lauren Myers would result in runners on second and third for Jodie Duncan who laced a two-run single up the middle to score the pair of speedsters and give the squad an early advantage.
The Skyhawks would again add to their lead in the second inning following a leadoff single by Jessie Douglas before Gonzales would work a walk of her own to put another pair on the base paths. Looking to pad the team’s lead, Rachel Williams would pull a double into left center to tally two RBIs. With just one player left on the bases, Renate Meckl would clear the bags with a triple to center to push the Skyhawks’ advantage out to 5-0.
Fort Wayne would finally break into the scoring column in the bottom half of the second inning. A pair of singles by Amber Davis and Kelly Pevely would get the Mastodons in action. With runners on first and third, Fort Wayne would attempt a double-steal which would prove unsuccessful but score a run.
UT Martin would pad its advantage in the third inning with another pair of runs. After starting the inning with back-to-back outs, the Skyhawks saw Douglas single to short to extend the inning. With the inning still alive, Savannah Dodson would notch her first home run of the season, smashing a two-run blast to left to make it a 7-1 contest.
The Mastodons would look to chip into the margin yet again in the third. Three consecutive players would reach base in the inning courtesy of a pair of walks and an error. With the bases loaded Jessica Murray would lace a two-run double down the left field line make cut the deficit down to four runs.
UT Martin answered back in the following inning as Alli Fulcher pulled a two-run double into left field to score Meckl and Myers on the play. The squad would not be done as Duncan brought home Fulcher on the following play with an opposite field double of her own to make it a 10-3 contest.
Fort Wayne found another run of its own in the bottom of the fourth off a solo home run by Pevely to serve as the team’s final run.
The Skyhawks would look to end the game away early for the fourth straight game in the fifth. A successful double steal of second and home by Gonzales and Dodson would bring home one before a sacrifice fly by Myers brought home the second on the following play. The Skyhawks would record their 13th and final run as Reid Ballard drew a full-count walk with the bases loaded to make it a 13-4 contest.
Brooke Kennedy (4-0, 3.50 ERA) would pick up her fourth victory of the season along with yet another complete game. Kennedy struck out three while allowing three earned runs and five hits in five innings of work.
Game 2: Akron 3, UT Martin 2
After suffering a significant 13-2 loss at the hands of UT Martin on Friday afternoon, Akron looked for revenge in Saturday’s rematch. With neither team scoring in the game’s opening three innings, the Zips would break into the scoring column first in the top of the fourth inning. Ashley Sims would lead off the inning with a triple to right center. Looking to put the team to top, Sims would score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Savannah Fruin to give the Zips an early advantage.
UT Martin would look to answer in the bottom half of the inning to knot the game back up. A leadoff single by Myers got the inning started before moving into scoring position by swiping second and advancing to third on a wild pitch. Once settled at third, Myers would come home to score on a single through the left side off the bat of Fulcher.
Akron would waste little time getting back on top in the following half inning. Alyssa Nicholas led off the inning with a double down the left field line before later coming home off a RBI groundout by Jenna Jones to take a 2-1 lead. The Zips would add to their lead in the top of the seventh inning with another RBI single by Jones.
Facing a two-run deficit in the final inning, UT Martin would look to strike in the seventh. A leadoff single by Meckl would start the inning before coming home to score on a single up the middle by Smith. The Skyhawks would look to tie the game but would fail to find the equalizer, falling just short 3-2.
Sara Hooten (1-1, 1.27 ERA) suffered defeat in the pitching circle despite striking out five in seven innings of work. Hooten allowed just four hits and two earned runs.
UT Martin will return to action at the Chattanooga Frost Classic on Friday, Feb. 24-26.