SKYHAWK SOFTBALL PULLS OFF DRAMATIC SWEEP OF TENNESSEE STATE

April 6, 2014

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Game One:  Boxscore      PDF                Game Two:  Boxscore       PDF

MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team had to go extra innings and a pair of walk-off victories to pick up its fifth straight win and series sweep over Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State on Saturday afternoon at Bettye Giles Field.

The Skyhawks (19-16-1, 7-3 OVC) were led by the play of two standout freshman on the day as Taylor Manning went 3-for-6 with one home run, the first of her career, and three RBIs while Carly Gonzales tallied one home run and two RBIs, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th inning in Game Two.

The pitchers saw action for the Skyhawks, highlighted by the play of Casey Vincent and Brooke Kennedy. Vincent earned a no decision in Game Two, but tossed a career-high 10.1 innings while striking out 14, walking four and allowing just one earned run. Kennedy appeared in relief both contests, earning a pair of victories. Kennedy tossed 2.1 inning while striking out one and allowing one earned run. Elizabeth Wiegand also appeared in the circle, earning a no decision following her start of Game One, tossing 5.1 innings and allowing three earned runs.

Game One: UT Martin 6, Tennessee State 5

Tennessee State (14-25, 2-9 OVC) got the day started with a run in the first inning, following an infield error, allowing the leadoff batter to reach base and eventually come around to score to take the early lead.

The Tigers would add to their lead in the top of the second inning following a leadoff base hit by Ashley Haynes. Haynes would eventually come around to score in the inning off an RBI single through the left side by Kiarra Freeman to stretch their lead out to 2-0.

UT Martin would make join in the action in the bottom half of the second with three runs of its own to take the 3-2 lead. Gonzales would be hit with a pitch before Lauren Smith doubled to right center, moving the pair into scoring position with one out. The pair’s time on the base paths would be minimal as Manning launched her first career home run to left center, scoring three.

The Skyhawks would tally another insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Manning would get in the action once again, singling up the middle to lead off the inning. Following a sacrifice bunt, moving two Skyhawks into scoring position with one out, senior Kayla Wade tallied a single to the pitcher to load the bases. Kenzi Tate would drive in Manning with a sacrifice fly to center field, leading the Tigers 4-2.

Tennessee State would respond in the following inning by tallying two runs of its own. Three consecutive base hits to start the inning would plate one run following an RBI single by Rebekka Gross. The Tigers would hang another run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Liz Stansberry, knotting the game at four heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

The game did not stay tied very long in the sixth inning following a critical at bat by Gonzales. Gonzales would launch a second-pitch home run over the center field wall for first career home run, taking a slim 5-4 lead into the seventh inning.

As the Skyhawks looked to shut down the final TSU threat, the Tigers would tie the game yet again in the inning. Jayna Hanawahine tallied a double into the left field gap. Hanawahine would soon come around to score on an RBI single to left field.

Wade used the bottom of the seventh inning to show her quick feet, reaching base after being struck by a pitch. Wade would quickly swipe second base before coming around to score on a pair of errors by the TSU catcher to secure the 6-5 victory.

Game Two: UT Martin 4, Tennessee State 3 (11)

Tennessee State struck first in the Game Two, tallying one run in the top of their third. Courtney Gearlds would lead off the inning to center field before coming around to score on a wild pitch.

Action began to pick up later in the game as UT Martin tallied its first run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Gonzales led off the inning with a single to left field before being cut down in a fielder’s choice by Smith who would be pulled for pinch runner Gabby Glenn.

After nine innings of play, the game moved into an international tie breaker run, placing the last registered out on second base to begin the inning.

Both teams would score a single run in 10th inning before an exciting 11th inning decided the game. Tennessee State would tie the game in the top of the fourth inning with a single up the middle off the bat of Tayler Shimizu, taking the 3-2 lead. The Skyhawks would switch to Kennedy with one out and runners on first and third. Kennedy would get consecutive groundouts to end the inning and keep the Skyhawks within striking distance.

The Skyhawks would have Wade placed on second to start the inning with no outs. Tate would lay down a successful sacrifice bunt to move Wade over to third with one out. Sophomore standout Deven Wilson would come in to pinch hit for Renate Meckl, laying down a bunt single which pushed Wade, the tying run, across the plate. Another sacrifice bunt by Stephanie Nidiffer would move Wilson into scoring position with two outs. Faced with two outs and a 0-2 count, Gonzales laced a single to left field which would bring Wilson around to score for the game winning run.

UT Martin will look to continue its season-best five game winning streak tomorrow, Sunday, April 6 when it play host to another OVC doubleheader when Belmont comes to town. Action from Bettye Giles Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.



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