KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team used dominating pitching performances by sophomores Kenzi Tate and Casey Vincent to sweep Penn in the mid-afternoon twinbill by scores of 1-0 and 5-2.
UT Martin 1 – Penn 0
UT Martin sophomore starter Tate (7-1) and Penn counterpart Alexis Borden turned in the definition of a pitcher’s duel. Needing eight innings and the use of the international extra innings rule, in which a runner is placed at second base to start the first extra inning, Tate tallied eight strikeouts while only walking two in the complete game shutout.
Struggling to hit Borden, the Skyhawks capitalized in the top of the eighth inning as Lindsey Feigl was placed on second base to start the inning. After advancing to third on a groundout by senior Becca Williams, Feigl scored the game winning run on a bunt to the pitcher by Katie Reiff.
“The girls played a very hard fought game today. We managed to squeeze a win out against a very good pitcher that was on the top of her game,” UT Martin head coach Donley Canary said. “Kenzi pitched yet another great game for us, staying resilient and leading us to the victory.”
UT Martin 5 – Penn 2
After seeing the lead change four times, the Skyhawks added four runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull out a 5-2 win over Penn in the second game of the doubleheader.
In the circle Vincent (5-3) turned in yet another dominating performance striking out six in seven innings of work. She surrendered just one earned run on five hits and allowed just two walks in the game.
UT Martin jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third as Jessie Britt started the rally with a single. After advancing on a groundout by Kelsey Dixon, Britt scored the first run of the game on a Leah Taylor single.
The Skyhawks took the lead for good in the sixth inning with Taylor laying down a bunt single to start the bottom of the inning. After Tate was hit by a pitch and Smith singled, Williams broke the game open with a two RBI single into right field plating Taylor and Sam McClure. Stephanie Niddifer and Britt came through with two key insurance runs by dumping singles into left field, plating one run each.
Taylor led the Skyhawks by going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two stolen bases, adding singles in the first, third and sixth innings.
“We saw a lot of what we’ve come to expect as our pitching is doing very well and our hitting is starting to come around,” Canary said. “We have to be able to hit the ball consistently, but we’re starting to see the bats find their rhythm.”
The Skyhawks will look to complete the tournament sweep of the Rebel Spring Games tomorrow with South Dakota at 9 a.m. followed by Niagara at 11 a.m.