UT MARTIN SOFTBALL SWEPT ON DAY TWO OF BLACK AND GOLD TOURNAMENT
February 17, 2018
Game One: Boxscore PDF
Game Two: Boxscore PDF
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team dropped a pair of contests on Saturday afternoon, falling in extra inning to Fort Wayne before being no-hit against Middle Tennessee on Day Two of the Alabama State Black and Gold Tournament.
The Skyhawks (2-6) saw their losing streak reach five games after hitting just .135 as a team on the day. Junior Lauren Myers paced the squad with two hits on the day while Alli Fulcher, Veronica Pezzoni, Jodie Duncan, Savannah Dodson and Aeron Smith each notched one base knock.
Game 1: Fort Wayne 5, UT Martin 3 (Eight Innings)
In the morning contest, neither team could get its offense rolling until the sixth inning. Fort Wayne would strike first in the game, scoring two runs in the top of the sixth inning to break the stalemate. A pair of leadoff singles to start the inning would later result in runners at second and third. With two runners in scoring position, Morganne Denny laced a two-run double into the right center gap to take a 2-0 advantage.
Needing to answer, UT Martin countered back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game up. Lauren Myers led off the inning with a single into right center before moving into scoring position as Jodie Duncan drew a five-pitch walk. Gracyn McBride would then attempt to lay down a bunt when a throwing error on the play saw McBride advance all the way to third and score both Myers and Duncan to knot the contest at 2-2.
The game would remain tied heading into extra innings as the international tie-breaker rule went into effect, placing a runner on second with no outs. The inning would get off to a bumpy start for the Skyhawks as a potential sacrifice situation turned into a run on a throwing error to start the frame. With one run already across the plate, Fort Wayne tallied two more runs in the inning on RBIs by Maria Palmegiani and Stephanie Hanic to take a three-run advantage.
With its back against the wall and needing to answer the three runs on the board, the Skyhawks went to work in the bottom of the eighth. Duncan would be placed on second before Aalia Bivens draw a walk to put a pair of runners on. Needing a big hit, Aeron Smith would lace a single up the middle to score Duncan and put runners on the corner. The Skyhawks would later load the bases but could not get the potential game-tying run across the plate, falling by a final score of 5-3 in extras.
Freshman Caitlin Karo (1-3, 2.96 ERA) was charged with the loss, striking out two and allowing just two earned runs in eight innings of work.
Game 2: Middle Tennessee 3, UT Martin 0
Middle Tennessee would score its first run of the contest in the bottom of the second inning on a solo home run by Lexi Cushing to lead off the inning.
The Blue Raiders added another pair of runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. After allowing the first two runners to reach, Middle Tennessee saw its second run come home off a throwing error by the pitcher. With the rally extended, Kirstyn Cuccia would score the game’s final run on a sacrifice fly to center making it a 3-0 contest.
UT Martin would have base runners in both the top of the sixth and seventh but would be held hitless in the contest, falling short 3-0.
Sara Hooten (0-1, 4.20 ERA) would be charged with the loss after allowing seven hits and three earned runs over five innings of work. Sophomore Sam Scott would enter in relief, allowing zero hits in one inning.
UT Martin will look to snap the team’s losing streak with a matchup against Appalachian State on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. to close out its tournament appearance.