UT MARTIN SOFTBALL PULLS OUT YET ANOTHER OVC SPLIT AGAINST MURRAY STATE
April 8, 2017
Game One: Boxscore PDF
Game Two: Boxscore PDF
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team picked up its third series split of the young Ohio Valley Conference schedule against regional rival Murray State on Saturday afternoon. The Skyhawks nearly tallied a come from behind victory before falling short 5-4 in first game before knocking off the Racers 6-4 in the second contest.
The Skyhawks (26-12, 5-3 OVC) were outhit on the day but found a way to outscore the visiting Racers in the twinbill to earn the series split. Five players tallied mulit-hit afternoons for the Skyhawks as Carly Gonzales, Savannah Dodson, Aeron Smith, Jodie Duncan and Alli Fulcher each tallied a pair on the day. Sophomore Jessie Douglas made the most of her start in Game Two by leading the team with two RBIs while nine different Skyhawks tallied RBIs on the day.
In the pitcher’s circle, three different players saw action. Senior Brooke Kennedy (13-3, 2.97 ERA) remained perfect by picking up her fourth win in OVC play while notching her 11th complete game of the season. Kennedy struck out seven while allowing four earned runs. Samantha Scott (3-4, 3.74 ERA) dropped her first league start by allowing five runs in four innings while Sara Hooten tallied three scoreless innings of work.
Game One: Murray State 5, UT Martin 4
Murray State wasted very little time getting out to an early lead against UT Martin in the first inning of the doubleheader. After a grounder to start the inning, Jessica Twaddle would drill a RBI double into the left center gap to give the squad an early advantage. With still one runner on base and two outs, Jocelynn Rodgers would smash a two-run home run into the left field scoreboard to take a three-run lead.
The Racers would add another insurance run in the top of the third inning. Three consecutive singles would load the bases but a RBI groundout by Madison Culver would score the team’s fourth run of the game.
UT Martin later got on the scoreboard themselves in the bottom half of the third. Fulcher would lead off the inning with a single through the right side before advancing into scoring position on a wild pitch. Dodson would also tally an opposite field single before Gonzales loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch. With the bags juiced with opportunity, Lauren Myers tallied a RBI single to cut the deficit down to three runs.
Murray State mounted another scoring inning in the fifth to score its ultimate game-winning run. The Racers would load the bases in the inning with a walk and a pair of bunt singles, setting up Culver for her second RBI of the contest with a sacrifice fly to center.
Trailing by four runs, the Skyhawks looked to scratch away at the Racers lead in the bottom of the sixth. Renate Meckl would lead off the inning with a single up the middle before watching the bases become loaded following an error and a single by Smith. With the bases loaded yet again, Rachel Williams dropped a single into right field to drive in a run. Dodson and Gonzales would also drive in runs on consecutive at-bats to trim the deficit down to 5-4.
The Skyhawks would look to find the equalizer in the sixth before stranding a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the seventh.
Game Two: UT Martin 6, Murray State 4
As a near reversal of scripts from Game One, it was UT Martin which came out looking to score in the bottom of the first inning in a big way. Myers would reach on a throwing error before McBride singled through the right side and Meckl walked to load the bases with just one out. With the bases full once again on the day, Duncan would single through the right side to score a run while Smith drove in a run on a RBI groundout to score the team’s second run. With a pair of runners still in scoring position, Douglas would tally a single up the middle to take a 4-0 lead.
UT Martin would add another run in the second inning after Gonzales used her speed to move around the bases. Gonzales would draw a walk to lead off the inning before swiping second base and moving over the third on a sacrifice bunt by Myers. Still standing 60 feet from home, the senior would come home to score on a sacrifice fly by McBride to give the Skyhawks a five-run advantage.
Murray State would get on the scoreboard in the top of the third. A two-out single by Brenna Finck would continue the inning before Kaylee Ranburger moved the speedster to third with a single. The Racers would then try a double-steal attempt but Ranburger would be caught in a rundown but only after the run from third came home to score on the play.
The Skyhawks capped off their scoring in the third inning. Smith would reach base after being hit by a pitch before being pulled for pinch runner Alicia Hansen. Hansen would quickly steal second to move into scoring position. The Skyhawks would convert the scoring opportunity as Fulcher singled to right field to bring Hansen around to score and take a 6-1 lead.
Murray State looked to slowly chip away down the stretch of the contest. The Racers would score a run in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to trim the deficit down to two runs. A pair of homers by Twaddle and Maggie Glass would highlight the fourth and fifth inning, respectively. Another run would score in the sixth inning after the first two batters reached on a walk and a double. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Cayla Levins would single up the middle to score a lone run.
The Skyhawks would shut down the scoring threat by tallying back-to-back outs in the sixth inning to extinguish the scoring threat. Then in the seventh inning, Kennedy would shut the door with a hitless frame to secure the two-run victory.
UT Martin will look to close out the team’s current six-game homestand with a doubleheader against OVC foe Austin Peay on Sunday, April 9. First pitch from Bettye Giles Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.