MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team outhit the visiting Murray State Racers but could not overcome a fifth inning home run, falling in the Ohio Valley Conference series finale 3-2.
The Skyhawks (29-13, 10-6 OVC) tallied ten hits on the afternoon, led by Kayla Wade, Kenzi Tate and Becca Williams each adding a pair of hits in the ball game. Lauren Smith paced the team with one home run and two RBIs on the afternoon.
Sophomore Casey Vincent gave a valiant effort in the circle today, notching her 14th complete game and striking out four. She allowed just three runs through seven innings but received the loss.
“I’m proud of the way our girls competed today,” said UT Martin head coach Donley Canary. “Even though we didn’t get the result we were hoping for, I thought we hit the ball much better than yesterday and continued to fight until the end. Our team is very young and I hope we can use this feeling as a learning experience to get better and grow as a team.”
After the Racers got on the board with a solo home run to left center, the Skyhawks quickly retaliated with a big blast of their own. Lauren Smith cranked her team-leading 10th home run down the right field line to even the score at one each. With the home run, Smith moved into eighth on the all-time school home run list with her 19th dinger of the sophomore’s young career.
The Racers (17-22, 8-8 OVC) took the lead for good in the top of the fifth. After retiring the lead-off hitter for the Racers, Mo Ramsey reached first on an infield single. Alex Becker then stepped to the plate and launched a no-doubter down the left field line for the two-run home run and the ultimate difference in the game.
The Skyhawks would not go quietly though as they looked to chip away in the bottom half of the inning. After Taylor reached base on an error, the Skyhawks tacked on back to back single by Wade and Tate to run the bases load with no outs. Smith laced a ball to the left side as the Racer defender made a tough play to get the force out at third and Taylor scored.
The Skyhawks would later threaten in the bottom of the seventh but not push the tying run across in the inning, falling 3-2.
UT Martin will return to action on Tuesday as they host in-state foe Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday. First pitch from Bettye Giles Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.