April 10, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team will take a season-best eight game winning streak into hostile territory as the Skyhawks travel to defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Eastern Illinois for a three-game weekend series beginning on Saturday, April 12-13. Action from Williams Field is schedule to get underway each day at 1 p.m.

The Skyhawks (22-16-1, 9-3 OVC) come into this weekend’s matchup on an eight game winning streak, including five straight conference games, after picking up the first win against Memphis since 2006. Freshman Taylor Manning has continued her hot hitting with a perfect 3-for-3 performance against the Tigers, tallying two RBIs on the day.

Senior Kayla Wade leads the team with a .354 batting average while Deven Wilson and Carly Gonzales have each posted a .333 batting average. Wilson leads the team with nine doubles and 21 RBIs while knocking three home runs.

Inside the circle, the Skyhawks will turn to freshman Elizabeth Wiegand and junior Casey Vincent. Wiegand leads the team with a 10-4 record to go along with a 2.93 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 110 innings of work. Vincent is 5-4 on the year, winning five of her last six decisions while posting a 2.56 ERA in 68.1 innings of work. Brooke Kennedy is the team’s closer with a 4-1 record to go with three saves, 1.47 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 28.2 innings of action.

Eastern Illinois (27-11, 7-4 OVC) comes into the weekend on a four game winning streak, outscoring its opponents during the span 30-7. The Panthers post five players with averages over the .300 mark, led by Brooke Owens with a .353 average, five home runs and 20 RBIs. Joining Owens with five home runs are Hannah Cole (five home runs and 29 RBIs) and Reyna Hutchinson (five home runs and 28 RBIs.)

The Panthers have a deadly combination in the circle behind the play of reigning OVC Pitcher of the Year Hanna Mennenga (15-4, 1.96 ERA) and Stephanie Maday (11-5, 2.43 ERA). Mennenga has tallied 137 strikeouts in 139 innings of work while Maday has struck out 88 in 101 innings.

UT Martin and Eastern Illinois have met 55 times in series history, with the Panthers holding a narrow 29-26 advantage. The Skyhawks have not won a road game at Eastern Illinois since April 15, 2007.

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