SOFTBALL SKYHAWKS PULL OFF ROAD SWEEP AT TENNESSEE TECH, 6-5 AND 10-2
March 26, 2017
Game One: Boxscore PDF
Game Two: Boxscore PDF
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Offense was not a problem for the University of Tennessee at Martin softball team on Sunday afternoon, outscoring Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech 16-7 on the day en route to a series sweep on the road. The Skyhawks squeaked out a 6-5 victory in the first game before posting a 10-2 win in the second half of the doubleheader.
Fresh off of snapping one of the OVC’s longest winning streaks in league history on Saturday, the Skyhawks (23-8, 3-1 OVC) capped off its strong start to conference play with a road sweep at Tennessee Tech. The offense would explode in the contest, tallying 20 hits on the afternoon while driving in 13 RBIs.
The junior pair of Aeron Smith and Jodie Duncan paced the Skyhawks with four hits on the day while Lauren Myers tallied three. Myers swung the big bat on the day, hitting a grand slam while driving in six RBIs. Smith also drove in four runs of her own while Savannah Dodson also posted a multi-RBI contest with two.
Three different pitcher saw action for the Skyhawks led by the play of senior Brooke Kennedy (10-2, 2.99 ERA). Kennedy picked up a complete game victory in the second game of the day while notching a critical save in the early game. For the day, Kennedy allowed two earned runs while striking out four in 8.1 innings of work. Freshman Seeley Layne (3-1, 3.00 ERA) also picked up a victory, allowing two earned runs in five innings of work. Sara Hooten also tossed 0.2 innings of relief.
Game 1: UT Martin 6, Tennessee Tech 5
Neither team would get in the scoring column until the fourth inning when UT Martin would break the scoreless tie. Three consecutive singles by Duncan, Rachel Williams and Smith would load the bases, setting up Dodson with a prime opportunity to score some runs. Dodson would play it smart, working a full count into a walk, scoring the first run of the day. With the bases still loaded, Myers notched an opposite field single through the left side to score Williams on the play and give the Skyhawks a 2-0 lead.
Tennessee Tech would look to trim the deficit in the bottom half of the inning. Gabby LaSala would lead off the inning with a double to right field before eventually coming around to score on a RBI groundout by Alyssa Richards to cut the margin in half.
The Golden Eagles would eventually tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning on a solo home run to left by Aalia Bivens.
With the game tied once again, both teams would post big innings in the sixth. The Skyhawks would start the high-powered sixth as Williams reached safely on a fielding error before Smith moved her classmate into scoring position with an infield single. With two runners on, Carly Gonzales would draw a walk to load the bases for Myers once again. With the bases juiced much like in the fourth inning, Myers would come through in the clutch by driving a grand slam to right field to put the Skyhawks on top 6-2.
Down once again, Tennessee Tech looked to answer in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff error would plague the inning as a double by Bayli Cruse put a pair of runners in scoring position. With runners on second and third, a wild pitch would bring home a run before a sacrifice fly later in the inning scored Amity Brown. The Golden Eagles would creep closer with a solo home run by Raegan Sparks to trim the margin to one run but Kennedy would enter the game and notch her first save of the season to seal the 6-5 victory for UT Martin.
Game 2: UT Martin 10, Tennessee Tech 2
UT Martin would jump out to an early lead in the top of the second inning. Alli Fulcher would start the scoring inning with a one-out single to eft center before an error and a hit-by-pitch would load the bases. With the bases full of potential and just one out, Smith would single into right center to score a pair. Dodson would follow that up with a single of her own, this time through the left side to score Williams and give UT Martin an early 3-0 advantage.
The Skyhawks would strike again in the top of the fourth inning to push their lead out to five runs. A leadoff single by Duncan would start the inning before moving into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Another Tech error would prove costly as Dodson reached on an outfield error and scored pinch runner Alicia Hansen on the play. The inning would continue as Gonzales then drove in Dodson on the following play with a RBI single of her own.
Tennessee Tech finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning. Three consecutive singles – two of the bunt variety – would start off the inning with Kelsey Kennedy’s knock scoring Halli Davis. The Golden Eagles would add on another as a bloop single by Gabby Perez into left field scored Callen Griffin to make it 5-2 heading into the sixth inning.
UT Martin looked for more insurance runs down the stretch in the sixth inning. Duncan would lead off the inning with a walk before moving into scoring position on a wild pitch. A bunt single by Dodson would bring Duncan around to score following yet another error. Later in the inning with runners on second and third, Myers single to left field to score Dodson and make it a five-run margin.
The Skyhawks would pad their margin in the top of the seventh inning with three additional runs. The junior duo of Duncan and Williams both doubled to start the inning’s scoring trend. After a pitching change, Smith would welcome the new hurler with a single up the middle to score two more runs and bring the game to its final score of 10-2.
UT Martin will return home for a midweek contest against Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, March 29. First pitch from Bettye Giles Field is scheduled for 4 p.m.