February 10, 2017

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The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team scored nine unanswered runs to rally for a 12-4 victory over Nevada in the team’s season opener on Friday afternoon.

The Skyhawks (1-0) got off on the right foot in the season opener, scoring nine unanswered runs in the final two innings to pick up a 12-4 victory in the team’s first game in the Southeastern Louisiana Lion Classic. As a whole, the Skyhawks outhit the Wolf Pack 13 to six on the afternoon en route to a commanding victory.

Newcomer Rachel Williams led the team with three hits in five at bats, while driving in two RBIs in the contest. Junior Jodie Duncan paced the squad with four RBIs on two base hits while the quartet of Carly Gonzales, Williams, Renate Meckl and Alli Fulcher each tallied multi-RBI contests.

Senior standout Brooke Kennedy (1-0) picked up her first victory of the season, tossing a complete game with eight strikeouts. The righty allowed just six hits on the afternoon while issuing a pair of walks along with runs.

The Skyhawks jumped out to an early advantage in the first innings. With the bases loaded, Fulcher would draw an eight-pitch walk to score the game’s first run. The squad would later add to their advantage in the third inning as a single up the middle by Fulcher drove in her second run of the contest, scoring Meckl on the play to give UT Martin a 2-0 advantage.

Nevada would strike back in the bottom of the third inning as the first two batters reached bases on a walk and a single. With runners in scoring position, Melissa Arriaga would drive in the pair with a single to left center, tying the game at two runs apiece.

UT Martin would retake the lead in the fifth inning as Williams led off the frame with a single to left field. Duncan would bring her classmate around to score later in the inning with an infield single to take a 3-2 advantage.

The Wolf Pack would rally in the fifth innings, scoring a pair of runs to take their first lead of the contest. Four singles in the inning would plate a pair of runs, highlighted by a two-run base knock by Jennifer Purcell. With the quartet of base knocks, Nevada would hold a 4-2 lead after five innings of work.

The Skyhawks would mount their comeback attempt in the sixth innings. The first three players would reach base in the inning before a pair of runs came around to score on a single, giving the squad the lead once again. The squad would stay on the offensive as a three-run homer by Duncan pushed the Skyhawks advantage out to four runs in the sixth.

UT Martin would look to put the game away in the seventh innings. Aeron Smith would lead off the inning with an infield single before a base knock by Gonzales up the middle scored a pair of runs. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Williams later in the inning would result in another pair of runs, giving the Skyhawks a 12-4 victory.

The Skyhawks will return to action with a pair of doubleheaders against Coppin State and Army. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the team’s back-to-back contests.

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