February 15, 2014

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Game One: Boxscore      PDF                      Game Two: Boxscore      PDF

ATLANTA, Ga. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team exploded for 16 runs to sweep day one of the Georgia State Panther Invitational, knocking off Georgia State 7-5 and Indiana 7-1.

The Skyhawks (3-3) tallied three home runs while posting a .323 batting average on the day. Four players tallied three hits on the day, led by Kenzi Tate who went 3-for-7 with a home run and two RBIs. Tate was joined by classmate Casey Vincent along with freshmen Taylor Manning and Gabby Glenn to each tally three hits on the day.

Junior Lauren Smith joined the duo of Tate and Glenn to tally home runs on the day, each driving in a pair on the afternoon. Sophomore catcher Deven Wilson led the way with three RBIs on the afternoon while Carly Gonzales, Kayla Wade and Renate Meckl each drove in a run.

Tate and freshman Elizabeth Wiegand each picked up complete game victories in the circle. Tate (2-1, 3.34 ERA) was nearly untouchable on the day, striking out eight while allowing just three hits and one earned run in seven innings of work. Wiegand (1-0, 5.38 ERA) provided a gutsy performance to secure the victory this afternoon, striking out four batters while allowing seven earned runs.

“I was very pleased with the way the girls came out ready to play,” said UT Martin coach Donley Canary. “It is important to come out and play with the lead. By our ability to take the early advantage, it propelled our team to two tough victories against quality opponents. We have a lot of weapons and with the emergence of our freshmen, we are tough up and down the lineup.”

Game One: UT Martin 9, Georgia State 7

The Skyhawks would get on the board first in the opening frame. Wade began the game with a single up the middle, before getting into scoring position following a stolen base. Wade would come around to score on the next batter as Manning reached on an error by the third baseman, plating Wade.

The Panthers would respond with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first. A pair of single, compounded with a walk, loaded the bases with just one out. Megan Litumbe would tie the game at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly to right center.

UT Martin would strike again in the top half of the second inning, tallying three runs on four hits. Smith got the rally started with a walk before Wilson lined a stroked a double down the left field line to score pinch runner Bella Zizzi. Samantha McClure would follow with a single of her own into centerfield. Wade would notch her first RBI of the game with a grounder to the shortstop, scoring pinch runner Juli Layne. Following a single by Manning, Tate would line a single up the middle to score McClure from third to cap off the inning.

For the third consecutive inning, the Skyhawks tallied another pair of runs in the top of the third to stretch their lead out to 6-1. Both Meckl and Smith would reach on errors before Wilson would tally her second RBI double of the contest to plate the pair.

The Panthers would look to cut into the Skyhawk advantage in the bottom half of the inning, scoring one run. Taylor Anderson led off the inning with a triple to centerfield before scoring on an infield error.

Georgia State would threaten again in the fourth inning, using the long ball to cut the Skyhawk lead to 6-5 after four innings of work. The Panthers would tally singles out of two of their first three batters in the inning before Anderson roped a three-run home run over the left field wall.

The Skyhawks would add on some insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning. Vincent would lead off the inning with a single up the middle, before being relieved for pinch runner Kelsey Dixon. Meckl would reach base on a fielder’s choice which would retire Dixon at third. Glenn would follow Meckl with a two-run home run to left field, the first of her career. Smith would not be outdone by the freshman, smashing a solo home run of her own to left center, her third of the season.

The Panthers would put together a last ditch rally in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a pair of runs. With two outs, Jessica Clifton would double to right center, scoring one. MeQuilla Franklin would follow up Clifton’s double with a single of her own to score the game’s final run. With the game ending on a fly to left field, the Skyhawks picked up the 9-7 victory.

Wiegand got the victory for the Skyhawks in the circle, moving to 1-0 on the season. Wiegand tossed a complete game, striking out four while allowing seven earned runs.

Game Two: UT Martin 7, Indiana 1

UT Martin jumped out to a quick three run lead in the opening frame in the second game of the Panther Invitational. Wade led off the inning with a single through the left side before being caught attempting to steal second. Following the botched steal attempt, Tate blasted her first home run of the season to center field, giving the Skyhawks the early lead. Vincent then singled to the pitcher before Meckl doubled to left center, plating Vincent from first. Meckl’s time on the bags didn’t last long, scoring on the ensuing single by Glenn up the middle.

Indiana looked to quickly respond in the bottom half of the inning. The first three Hoosiers reached base after a single and two walks. Indiana then got on the board via a wild pitch which moved each runner up a base. Despite the run, the Skyhawks still maintained the 3-1 lead.

The Skyhawks used the third inning to blow the game wide open. Already leading by two, the Skyhawks tacked on an addition four runs in the third inning. Vincent led off the inning with a single into left field before being pulled for pinch runner Zizzi. Zizzi then moved from first to third on a sacrifice bunt and fielder’s choice before scoring on an error. Gonzales would then single up the middle to score Glenn from second for the second run of the inning. Both Gonzales and pinch runner Lindsey Feigl who each score on an error by the catcher.

The third inning proved to be enough for the Skyhawks as Tate shut down the Hoosier offense from there. Tate (2-1) earned the victory with a complete game after allowing just three hits and one earned run. She struck out eight batters while issuing five walks.

UT Martin will return to action in day two of the Panther Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 16. The Skyhawks will face Bowling Green at 11:15 a.m. Central before taking on Georgia Tech at 1:30 p.m.

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