MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team officially opens preparations for the 2018 season with the start of official team practice on Saturday, Jan. 13.
UT Martin enters its 17th season with veteran head coach Donley Canary at the helm. The Skyhawks will look to a good mixture of veterans and talented newcomers to put the squad back into the Ohio Valley Conference title conversation after finishing last season as the regular season runner-up while punching a ticket to the Postseason NISC after posting a 39-20 overall record.
The Skyhawks return 13 players from last year’s squad – including five seniors which will look to mentor the team’s eight newcomers. UT Martin is highlighted by a pair of All-OVC returners in first team selection Jodie Duncan and second team honoree Aeron Smith. Duncan returns to the hot corner where she started in all 59 games while notching a .360 batting average, 10 doubles, nine home runs and 48 RBIs. Smith started 51 games primarily behind the plate, notching a .261 batting average, five doubles, one home run and 22 RBIs.
UT Martin will conduct its rigorous preseason practice schedule before ultimately kicking off the year at the Louisiana Monroe Classic in Monroe, La. running from Friday, Feb. 9 through Saturday, Feb. 10.