April 13, 2017

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The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team will look to test its five-game winning streak with a critical road doubleheader at Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Illinois on Friday, April 14. First pitch from Williams Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Skyhawks (30-12, 7-3 OVC) enter the weekend riding a three-game winning streak including wins over Murray State, Austin Peay and Evansville recently. In the team’s latest pair of contest, UT Martin picked up a road sweep at Evansville on Tuesday behind a strong pitching performance which allowed just three runs on the day while scoring 10 runs offensively. Additionally, the Skyhawks moved into first place in the nation while breaking the program’s single-season total steals record with 129 after swiping seven in the twinbill.

UT Martin currently leads the OVC in runs scored (252), stolen bases (129), on base percentage (.396) and hits (353). Headlining the Skyhawks offensively is senior outfielder Carly Gonzales. Gonzales currently leads the team with a .390 batting average while pacing the OVC in stolen bases (36), walks (27), runs scored (42) and on base percentage (.531) while ranking fifth in batting average and hits. Jodie Duncan is also hitting .349 on the season with three home runs and 28 RBIs while fellow junior Rachel Williams paces the team and OVC with 35 RBIs.

In the pitching circle, the Skyhawks are led by senior Brooke Kennedy (15-3, 2.73 ERA) who has posted a perfect 5-0 record in OVC play. Kennedy was recently named TSWA Softball Pitcher of the Week after posting a 2-1 mark in the circle with a 1.75 ERA in 20 innings of work spread over three appearances – including a shutout against Austin Peay. Sophomore Sara Hooten (8-3, 2.49 ERA) has also been impressive as of late, picking up two victories while allowing just two earned runs over the last 19.2 innings of work.

Eastern Illinois (23-16, 8-2 OVC) enters the weekend sitting in a tie for second place in the OVC standings. The Panthers ranks as one of the league’s top pitching threats, posting a team ERA of 2.50 while striking out 224 batters and notching five shutouts. Offensively the team is led by Taylor Monahan with a .366 batting average while Kayla Bear paces the team in runs scored (36), hits (44), doubles (six) and stolen bases (29).

The Panthers are led in the pitching circle by standout Jessica Wireman (12-9, 2.29 ERA) who has won seven consecutive games. Wireman paces the team with one shutout and three saves while striking out 127 in 122.1 innings of work. Michelle Rogers (9-7, 2.87 ERA) has also tallied five complete games in 100 innings of work.

Friday will mark the 66th and 67th meetings in series history between the two programs with Eastern Illinois holding a 38-27 series advantage. The Panthers have won five games in a row during the series while the Skyhawks are looking for their first road victory in the series since April 15, 2007.

The doubleheader will be streamed live, free of charge, courtesy of the OVC Digital Network at the link above. Links for live stats can also be accessed through their respective links above.

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