SOFTBALL LOOKS TO HOST EASTERN KENTUCKY AND MOREHEAD STATE OVER WEEKEND

April 21, 2017

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Eastern Kentucky     Listen: WUTM 90.3 FM      Live Stats

Morehead State        Listen: WUTM 90.3 FM      Live Stats:  Game One     Game Two        Watch: OVCDN

UTM Game Notes

The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team will look to outlast Mother Nature to host a pair of Ohio Valley Conference foes in Bluegrass State rivals Eastern Kentucky (Saturday, April 22) and Morehead State (Sunday, April 23) over the weekend. The Skyhawks will play a single game against Eastern Kentucky at 3 p.m. on Saturday before playing a doubleheader against Morehead State on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.

The Skyhawks (31-14, 8-4 OVC) enter the weekend in the midst of a six-game homestand after dropping the first game of the stand by a 7-2 score to No. 18 ranked Ole Miss on Tuesday evening. Despite the loss, the Skyhawks return to conference play where they currently sit fourth in the league standings and just three games out of first place after earning at least a series split against each of the top six teams. UT Martin also leads the OVC in runs scored while ranking first nationally with 131 stolen bases.

The offense is led by senior Carly Gonzales who continues to cement herself as one of the program’s all-time bests with a .385 batting average, 43 runs scored, 50 base hits, nine doubles and 15 RBIs to go along with 37 stolen bases out of the leadoff spot. Juniors Jodie Duncan (.353, three home runs and 30 RBIs) and Savannah Dodson (.339, two home runs, 13 RBIs, 23 stolen bases) are also posting career years for the Skyhawks.

Senior hurler Brooke Kennedy (16-4, 2.82 ERA) will look to remain undefeated in conference play with a 6-0 record and 1.94 ERA. Kennedy has tallied 44 career victories while tossing two shutouts on the season in 124 innings of work. Sophomore Sara Hooten (8-4, 2.55 ERA) has been the Skyhawks solid No. 2, tallying seven complete games in 90.2 innings of work.

Eastern Kentucky (19-23, 6-5 OVC) is looking to stay hot after entering the weekend on a four-game winning streak while outscoring its opponents 50-7 over the last 27 innings of play. The Colonels boast two of the best run producers in the OVC in Rachel Minogue (.425, four home runs, 39 RBIs) and Johnkyria Alston (.325, five home runs, 41 RBIs) – combining to drive in 80 RBIs on the season. Minogue is ranked in the top five in seven league categories: first in batting average (.425), second in hits (54), second in RBI (39), second in doubles (15) and third in on-base percentage (.493). She is also fourth toughest to strike out (seven strikeouts in 123 at bats) and fifth in total bases (81).

The Colonels are led in the pitching circle by Mollie Paulick with a 9-8 overall record and 2.50 ERA in 101 innings of work. Paulick has tallied seven complete games – including a pair of shutouts – while striking out 101 and holding opponents to a .228 batting average. Alex Sallberg (7-11, 3.53 ERA) leads the team in innings pitched with 109.

Morehead State (23-17, 4-8 OVC) hits the road after playing its last 10 games at home – winning four games during the stretch. The Eagles are led by Allison Rager who paces the team with a .398 batting average, 26 runs scored and 18 extra-base hits while tallying eight home runs and 34 RBIs. Roby Leighton also ranks as one of the league’s best deep threats, tallying 12 home runs while driving in 32 RBIs.

The Eagles look to Chelsea McManaway to lead the way in the pitching circle, posting a 13-8 overall record and 1.74 ERA in 137 innings of work. McManaway has tallied 19 complete games and 11 shutouts on the season while striking out 209 and holding opponents to a .184 batting average. Megan Tymorek (5-6, 3.01 ERA) has also tallied four complete games while tossing 83.2 innings of work.

Fans can watch Sunday’s contest – weather permitting – live, free of charge courtesy of the OVC Digital Network. UT Martin’s award-winning college radio station WUTM 90.3 FM “The Hawk” will also broadcast the contest over the airwaves. Links for both audio and video feeds along with live stats can be found at the top of the page. Follow along with the Skyhawks on Twitter at @UTM_Gameday for in-game updates throughout the weekend.



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