Game One: Boxscore PDF Game Two: Boxscore PDF
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team struggled in the series opener against Ohio Valley Conference foe SIU Edwardsville on Sunday afternoon, dropping Game One 7-2, before fighting back for a decisive 9-2 victory to split the doubleheader.
The Skyhawks (15-16-1, 5-3 OVC) scored 11 runs on the day, including nine in second game of the day. Lauren Smith tallied the lone home run of the day, including four walks. Kelsey Dixon tallied three hits on the day, driving in a pair of runs. Samantha McClure tallied three-RBIs on the afternoon while Carly Gonzales and Stephanie Nidiffer also tallied multi-RBI games with two apiece.
Casey Vincent (3-4) earned a victory in the circle, allowing two earned runs in seven innings of work. Vincent struck out four while allowing one walk and holding the Cougars to a .154 batting average. Elizabeth Wiegand (9-4) picked up the loss after allowing four earned runs in seven innings of work. Wiegand struck out seven while walking one but allowed the Cougars to post a .281 average.
Game One: SIUE 7, UT Martin 2
SIUE struck first in the top of the second inning off three Skyhawk errors. The leadoff batter reached on an infield error before eventually coming around to score on the second error of the inning. Brittany Toney would tally an RBI single down the right field line to give the Cougars an early 2-0 lead. The Cougars would add another run on an error before Jordan LaFave singled to right field scoring a pair and extending the SIUE lead out to 5-0.
The Cougars would strike again in the top of the third inning to extend their lead. Haley Chambers would lead off the third inning with a walk before coming around to score on an RBI double into center field off the bat of Whitney Lanphier.
The Skyhawks would finally bust into the hit column in the bottom of the third. Smith would lead off the inning with a seven-pitch walk before being pulled for pinch runner Bella Zizzi. Zizzi wasted little time making her presence known, swiping second base. Zizzi would come around to score two batters later as Dixon would single to left center, cutting into the Cougars margin.
SIUE would look to get its advantage back to six in the top of the fourth inning. Chelsea Yankolovich and Allison Smiley would both tally outfield singles, putting runners on first and third with two outs. Chambers would use a well-placed bunt single back to the pitcher to score Yankolovich, giving the Cougars the 7-1 advantage after four innings.
UT Martin would tally their second and final hit of the day in the bottom of the fifth inning off the bat of Smith. Following a leadoff strikeout, Smith would smoke a solo home run, her fifth of the season, off the left field scoreboard. The run would bring the Skyhawks to a 7-2 deficit, the game’s final score.
Game Two: UT Martin 9, SIUE 2
Much like in Game One, the Cougars struck first. SIUE tallied two hits in the opening half inning, tallying one run on a groundout from Chambers to the pitcher to take the early 1-0 lead.
The script quickly flipped in the bottom half of the first as the Skyhawks exploded for six runs on five hits. Dixon led off the inning with a single up the middle before advancing to second a wild pitch. Kenzi Tate and Deven Wilson tallied consecutive walks to load the bases with just one out. Nidiffer would score both Dixon and Tate on a two-RBI single into right field to take the early 2-1 lead, the Skyhawks first of the series. Nidiffer would have Zizzi appear to pinch run in her place, as Zizzi picked up her second stolen base of the day to move into scoring position. Zizzi’s time at second would be short as Gonzales doubled through the left side to score both Zizzi and Wilson.
McClure would keep her promising day going with a single through the left side to score Gonzales before the inning would end following an RBI groundout by Dixon. Skyhawks had a total of 11 plate appearances in the bottom of the first inning to go along with a 6-1 lead.
The Skyhawks would strike again in the bottom of the third inning. Gonzales would lead off the inning with a single through the left side, before coming around to score on an RBI groundout by McClure. After reaching base following a walk, Smith would eventually come around to score on a wild pitch to stretch the Skyhawks lead out to a game-high 8-1 advantage.
SIUE would tally its second run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Smiley doubled to left field with one out, before advancing to third on an error on the following play. Smiley would come around to score on a groundout by Chambers, trimming the Skyhawk margin to an 8-2 deficit.
UT Martin would strike once more in the bottom of the sixth inning. A combination of a single, a hit by pitch and an error left McClure at the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. McClure would battle through a seven pitch at bat before being struck by a pitch, scoring the Skyhawks final run.
The Skyhawks will return to action on Wednesday, April 2 when they travel to play Evansville in a doubleheader. Action is scheduled to get underway at 3 p.m.