MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team registered nine hits and four runs, but it wasn’t enough to outlast Ohio Valley Conference east division leader Eastern Kentucky at Bettye Giles Field.
Game One: Eastern Kentucky 4, UT Martin 1
The Skyhawks (30-16, 11-9 OVC) were unable to overcome the first inning of the visiting Eastern Kentucky Colonels (29-17, 16-5 OVC) as they scored two runs quickly in the top of the first inning, proving to be enough in the 4-1 decision.
The visiting Colonels capitalized on three Skyhawk errors, all of which came in the first two innings, scoring three runs with only one of which being earned.
The Skyhawks managed only three hits in the ballgame but none of which were bigger than the hit by sophomore Kenzi Tate in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Tate went a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate while launching her tenth home run on the season over the left field deck in the sixth.
Sophomore Casey Vincent picked up the tough loss as the young lefty tossed her 16th complete game, while striking out five. Vincent allowed just two earned runs on the afternoon while also tallying a single and a walk at the plate.
Game Two: Eastern Kentucky 5, UT Martin 3
The Skyhawks came out in game two with plenty to prove, quickly retiring the Colonel offense in order through the first two frames breaking the scoreless tie in the bottom of the second.
After Lauren Smith drew a lead-off walk, senior Becca Williams doubled to deep center field, moving Smith from first to third with no outs. With runners on second and third, Vincent tallied her first RBI of the season with a fielder’s choice to the shortstop as Smith scampered home to take the 1-0 lead.
UTM offense wasn’t done in the third when they expanded their lead to 3-0. Shortstop Sam McClure got the inning started with a bang, tripling down the right field line, instantly putting herself in scoring position with the top of the order looming on-deck. Tate soon walked before Smith connected for an RBI single up the middle to score McClure from third. Senior Becca Williams quickly followed Smith with a hit of her own through the gut of the defense to score Tate from second and give the Skyhawks the three run advantage after three innings of work.
The Colonel offense quickly came to life in the top of the fourth as Katie Tackett launched her 11th home run over the left field stands to cut the Skyhawk lead from three to one. EKU offense wasn’t done as they tallied yet another two-run home run in the fifth to take the 4-3 lead and the ultimate decision.
Kenzi Tate registered the loss, allowing four earned runs over 4.1 innings pitched. Autumn Glenn appeared in relief for the Skyhawks, tossing 2.2 innings, striking out two and allowing just one run.
The Skyhawks will return to action on Wednesday, April 24, when they play host to the Memphis Tigers. First pitch from Bettye Giles Field is slated for 4 p.m.