May 3, 2014

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Game 1: Boxscore        PDF             Game 2: Boxscore        PDF

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team continued its hot play by stretching its winning streak to four games after scoring 15 runs on the day against Austin Peay on the final weekend of Ohio Valley Conference play and the regular season. The Skyhawks picked up a victory in Game 1, 6-5, before exploding in the late innings to post a 9-0 win in Game 2 at Cheryl Holt Field.

The Skyhawks (27-24-1, 14-9) have found their stroke as of late, outscoring their last two opponents 33-12 in the last four games. Stepping up for the Skyhawks was senior Stephanie Nidiffer who tallied one of the team’s three home runs on the day while notching four RBIs in the twinbill. Carly Gonzales, Deven Wilson and Casey Vincent each tallied three hits on the day, including a home run by Wilson and three doubles by Vincent to both notch multi-RBI performances.

Sticking with her strong performance at the plate, Vincent was just as efficient in the pitching circle. Vincent improved to 7-8 on the season after tossing a complete game shutout, striking out nine while allowing just four hits in the Game 2 victory. Elizabeth Wiegand earned the start in Game 1, pitching 4.2 innings while allowing five earned runs. Brooke Kennedy (6-3) appeared in relief of Wiegand, picking up the victory after 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Game 1: UT Martin 6, Austin Peay 5

UT Martin got on the board first in Game 1 thanks to a powerful home run off the bat of Wilson, easily clearing the left field wall. The home run was Wilson’s fourth of the year, passing a previous career high of three set last season as a freshman.

Neither team would add another run until the bottom of the fourth inning. Austin Peay would get on the board after reaching base on a lead-off single to center field. With a runner on first and second, following an error, the Lady Govs moved both runners into scoring position following a sacrifice. With runners on second and third and two outs, Mel Pavel singled to left field, tying the game at 1-1 after four innings.

The Skyhawks would look to respond in the top of the fifth inning, busting the game open with four runs. Lauren Smith would lead off the inning with a walk before being pulled for pinch runner Bella Zizzi. Zizzi would eventually move to third base following a sacrifice and a single by Kelsey Dixon, who then stole second base, leaving runners at second and third with one out. Zizzi would come around to score on an RBI single to left field by Gabby Glenn, giving the Skyhawks the lead. The Skyhawks would not be done in the inning as Nidiffer stroked a three-run home run down the left field line, giving the Skyhawks the 5-1 lead.

Austin Peay would waste little time getting back into the game, ultimately tying the game once again in the bottom half of the inning. The Lady Govs would load the bases with one out before Laurel Burroughs brought all three runs around to score on a bases clearing triple to right field. The Skyhawks would respond by making a pitching change, exchanging Wiegand for Kennedy. Kennedy would blow the save opportunity as Kristin Whitmire welcomed the new pitcher into the game with a game-tying double to center.

With the game tied once again, the Skyhawks would seek get on top once again in the sixth. Kayla Wade would battle before drawing a walk on the 10th pitch of the at bat. Wade would waste little time at first, quickly swiping second before advancing to third on a throwing error on the play. With Wade at third with two outs, Taylor Manning would put the Skyhawks on top for good with a single up the middle, ultimately giving the Skyhawks the 6-5 victory.

Game 2: UT Martin 9, Austin Peay 0

Both teams struggled in the opening innings of Game 2, holding their opponent hitless through the first four innings of play.

UT Martin broke into both the hit and the score column in the top of the fifth inning. Vincent led off the inning with a double to right center before being pulled for the speedster Zizzi. Wade would then reach base following a bunt single, moving Zizzi to third, before swiping her second stolen base of the afternoon to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Smith would put the Skyhawks on top with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Zizzi on the play. The second run of the inning would cross the plate as Wade scored on a throwing error.

The Skyhawks would look for more in the sixth inning as Gonzales led off the inning with a single up the middle. Wilson would later reach base following a sacrifice by Nidiffer. Both runners would come around to score on the next play as Vincent doubled to left center, bring Gonzales and Wilson in on the play.

With the game already in hand, the Skyhawks chipped on an addition five runs in the top of the seventh to seal the victory. Despite retiring the first two batters of the inning, Samantha McClure homered to left center for her second of the year. Glenn would follow the solo shot by drawing a walk before coming around to score on a triple to center field off the bat of Gonzales. Gonzales’ time on the bags would be minimal as she scored on a single through the left side by Nidiffer.

Back-to-back doubles by Wilson and Vincent would prove to be the exclamation point of the afternoon, bringing across the final two runs of the day as the Skyhawks cruised to the 9-0 victory.

UT Martin will look to continue its hot play in the season and series finale against Austin Peay tomorrow, Sunday, May 4. Action from Cheryl Holt Field is scheduled for noon.

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