SOFTBALL SET TO HOST SKYHAWK HAMPTON INN CLASSIC OVER THE WEEKEND
March 16, 2017
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team will return home Bettye Giles Field to host its first tournament since 2008 when opening play in the Skyhawk Hampton Inn Classic against Western Illinois and Samford beginning on Saturday, March 18-19. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and can be purchased at the gates of Skyhawk Park.
The Skyhawks (17-6) will open the field on Saturday against former OVC foe Samford at 12:30 p.m. before taking on Western Illinois at 3 p.m. The teams will then return to face off against each other on Sunday at the same times. Western Illinois and Samford will also matchup up, playing at 10 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
UT Martin currently ranks in the top-10 in seven different categories nationally, including stolen bases (83, second), stolen bases per game (3.61, third) and doubles per game (1.91, third). The Skyhawks also rank first in nine different offensive categories in the OVC – including RBIs, runs, hits, doubles, walks, stolen bases, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
The Skyhawks are paced offensively by senior Renate Meckl who leads the team with a .417 batting average along with 30 hits and eight doubles while tallying two home runs and 15 RBIs. The junior duo of Savannah Dodson and Jodie Duncan have also been impressive, hitting .397 and .370, respectively. Carly Gonzales paces a Skyhawk squad which ranks second nationally in stolen bases per game with a league-leading 25 individually while Savannah Dodson (16), Alicia Hansen (12) and Meckl (11) have each eclipsed double figures.
The pitching staff features four dynamic pitching options led by senior Brooke Kennedy. Kennedy ranks third in the OVC with a 7-1 overall record while posting a 3.60 ERA in 48.2 innings of work. Sophomore Sara Hooten (4-2, 3.45 ERA) has also impressed in her debut season, tallying one shutout appearance in 44.2 innings. The freshmen pair of Samantha Scott (3-2, 3.50 ERA) and Seeley Layne (2-1, 3.11 ERA) have also posted valuable performances.
Western Illinois enters the weekend with an overall record of 9-15 out of the Summit League. The Fighting Leathernecks are led offensively by Nina Maggio with a .296 batting average while Holly Hoelting leads the squad with four home runs and 16 RBIs. In the circle the squad is highlighted by Summit League Pitcher of the Week Emily Ira who possess a 4-8 mark with a 2.01 ERA in 83.2 innings of work.
Samford enters the weekend with an overall record of 7-18 out of the Southern Conference – after formerly being a member of the OVC until 2008. The Bulldogs are led offensively by Shelby Maze who paces the squad with a .449 batting average, 40 hits and 11 stolen bases. Three players are tied with two home runs while Hannah Trombley paces the team with 17 RBIs. The pitching staff is led by Grey Adams (4-6, 2.81 ERA) who has limited opponents to a .228 batting average in 79.2 innings of work.
UT Martin holds a 6-7 against Samford all-time, serving as the first meeting between the two squads since the 2008 season. The weekend will also mark the first meeting between UT Martin and Western Illinois in series history.