UT MARTIN SOFTBALL SETS STOLEN BASE RECORD IN DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OF AUSTIN PEAY
April 9, 2017
Game One: Boxscore PDF
Game Two: Boxscore PDF
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team shattered the program’s previous single-game stolen base record by swiping 10 bags in the second game alone today while tallying 15 stolen bases total in a doubleheader sweep of Ohio Valley Conference foe Austin Peay on Sunday. The Skyhawks shutout the Governors 4-0 in the series opener before posting an 8-2 win in the finale.
The Skyhawks improved to 28-12 on the season and 7-3 in OVC play with a pair of victories today while Austin Peay fell to 14-24, 2-8 in the OVC. Entering the contest, the Skyhawks ranked second nationally with 107 stolen bases and third in stolen bases per game at 2.92. After today’s output, UT Martin moved its season total up to 122 which sits just three off the program record set just last season. With 15 stolen bases on the day – including 10 in Game Two alone, the Skyhawks broke the previous single-game record of seven set against Mercer on Feb. 16, 2013.
Eight different players joined in the action on the day while the trio of Carly Gonzales, Rachel Williams and Lauren Myers each tallied three each. Junior Alicia Hansen also tallied a pair of steals while Gracyn McBride, Alli Fulcher, Savannah Dodson and Gabby Zizzi each swiped one of their own.
A big key for the UT Martin offense was the team’s ability to hit the ball up and down the lineup, tallying 16 hits on the afternoon while posting a .340 batting average as a team. The Skyhawks would outscore the Governors 12-2 on the day as McBride and Gonzales both tallied three hits while Williams, Myers and Fulcher each notch multi-hit afternoons of their own. McBride would lead the squad with three RBIs while Williams and Jodie Duncan notched a pair.
UT Martin was dynamic inside the pitching circle as well, limiting Austin Peay to just two runs on the day. Brooke Kennedy (14-3, 2.77 ERA) notched her second shutout of the season, allowing just one hit while striking out six in seven innings of work. Kennedy would face just one batter above the minimum while holding the Governors to a .048 batting average. Sophomore Sara Hooten (7-3, 2.72 ERA) was also impressive, allowing two runs in the first inning before pitching six scoreless innings to notch a complete game victory.
Game One: UT Martin 4, Austin Peay 0
UT Martin looked to waste little time jumping out in front in the series opener. A leadoff double by Gonzales into left field batted down by stiff wind would get the scoring opportunity started. Myers then joined her fellow speedster on base with a bunt single before advancing into scoring position herself by swiping second. With a pair of runners on base, Williams would loft a sacrifice fly into right field to put the Skyhawks on top. The Skyhawks would place another runner on base to set up a potential double-steal opportunity which saw Myers come home to take a 2-0 lead before the third out was recorded.
The Skyhawks added to their margin in the second inning as Fulcher reached on a single before scampering to second on a throwing error. Following a sacrifice bunt to move Fulcher into scoring position, the sophomore would travel the final 60 feet home to score later in the inning on a bunt single by Dodson to push the lead out to three runs.
Kennedy would shine throughout the contest before allowing the lone hit of the contest by Austin Peay in the top of the fourth inning. Despite the base hit, Smith would retire the runner on a stolen base attempt to wipe the slate clean. Kennedy would be dynamite from there, holding the Govs hitless over the final three innings of play to notch her second shutout of the season.
With the game already in control, UT Martin would add a final insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Williams would work a nine-pitch at-bat into a single to right before stealing second to move into scoring position. A passed ball would move the outfielder over to third where she later scored on a groundout RBI by Duncan to cap off a 4-0 contest.
Game Two: UT Martin 8, Austin Peay 2
After being held scoreless in its last three contest, Austin Peay looked to break its scoreless inning streak which reached 21 in the first. A leadoff single by Emily Moore got the game off to a bright start for the Govs, setting up Danielle Liermann who launched a two-run home run to dead center field to take a 2-0 lead.
Facing its first deficit of the afternoon, UT Martin began its comeback attempt in the bottom half of the inning. Gonzales and Myers would both tally opposite field singles to begin the inning before tallying a pair of stolen bases to move the pair into scoring position. With two runners on base, McBride would stroke a single up the middle to score Gonzales and trim the margin to one run.
The Skyhawks would notch their game-tying run in the third inning to knot the contest at two runs apiece. Williams would start the rally after grounding into a fielder’s choice before swiping second to move into scoring position, who then came home to score on a RBI single by Duncan through the right side.
Looking for the team’s first lead of the contest, UT Martin found the winning formula in the fifth inning. A leadoff walk to Gonzales put the speedster on the basepaths were she notched her second and third stolen bases of the contest by swiping second and third consecutively. Still 60 feet away from scoring the go-ahead run, Gonzales would scamper home on a throw following a wild pitch strikeout to take a 3-2 advantage.
With Hooten shutting down the Governors offense after a rough first inning, UT Martin put the game out reach in the sixth inning. Five runs would come home to score in the final offensive frame for the Skyhawks as a walk to Myers led to a RBI followed by a two-run double up the middle by McBride and a RBI single up the middle by Williams to bring the score to its final margin of 8-2.
UT Martin will action with a road doubleheader at Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville on Tuesday, April 11. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.