MARTIN, Tenn. - A total of three University of Tennessee at Martin softball players have been tabbed as Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference selections by College Sports Madness in its yearly preseason predictions. The junior trio of Kenzi Tate, Lauren Smith and Casey Vincent were each recognized as all-conference second team performers.
A native of Opdyke, Ill., Tate was the only Skyhawk to garner All-OVC first team honors last season after leading the league with 13 home runs and a UT Martin record 56 RBIs to go along with a .359 batting average. Inside the circle, Tate led the team with a 20-6 record along with a 2.79 ERA. In 160.2 innings of work, Tate struck out 97 batters while allowing just 64 earned runs on the year. Among All-OVC honors, Tate was tabbed to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I All-Region team along with being named to the OVC All-Tournament team.
Smith hails from O’Fallon, Ill. where she took home All-OVC second team and OVC All-Tournament honors last season. Smith maintained an impressive .329 batting average, hitting 11 home runs and driving in 34 RBIs. She tallied 11 multi-hit games, including a trio of three hit contests against Belmont, Evansville and Southeast Missouri. Along with an 11-game hitting streak, Smith recorded nine multi-RBI games, including five contests in which she drove in three runs.
Hillsboro, Tenn. native, Vincent appeared in 35 games for the Skyhawks last season. Vincent tallied an impressive 15-9 win-loss record in the circle while leading the team with 18 complete games, four shutouts and two saves. With a team-high 176.2 innings of work, she maintained a 2.30 ERA while holding opponents to a .246 batting average and registering 125 strike outs.
UT Martin will open their season on Friday, Feb. 7 when they travel to the Louisiana Tech Lady Techster Invitational. The Skyhawks will open the four-game tournament against host Louisiana Tech at noon on Friday.