February 16, 2014

Game One:  Boxscore        PDF                   Game Two:  Boxscore        PDF

ATLANTA, Ga. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball tallied a rare 6-6 tie against Bowling Green before dropping its final game against Georgia tech 8-5 to close out the Georgia State Panther Invitational.

The Skyhawks (3-4-1) scored 11 runs on the day while tallying one home run and 16 hits on the final day of the Panther Invitational, held on the campus of Georgia Tech. Sophomore Deven Wilson led the way for the Skyhawks with a .500 batting average, tallying three hits including one double and an RBI. Wilson was one of five Skyhawks to tallying two hits or more. Kenzi Tate tallied the team’s lone home run to go along with a pair of hits and one RBI.

Freshman Renate Meckl made the most of her two hits on the afternoon, driving in three RBIs to lead the team. Meckl was joined by classmate Gabby Glenn who tallied three hits, including one double and two RBIs.

Five pitchers saw action inside the circle on the afternoon as Casey Vincent and Elizabeth Wiegand earned starts. Vincent led the team with 4.2 innings pitched, allowing seven hits and four earned runs. Wiegand tossed 3.2 innings, earning her second start of the weekend, allowing four hits and four earned runs.

“Today definitely made for an extremely long day,” said softball coach Donley Canary. “We scored enough runs to win both games today but were not able to make the big plays when we needed them. Often times you assume that early in the year that your pitching will be ahead of hitting, but so far we are waiting for our pitching core to become the strength that we expected. There were about three or four mistakes which swung the game and that is what we have to correct moving forward.”

Game One: UT Martin 6, Bowling Green 6 – Eight Innings

After both teams were held scoreless in the opening two and a half innings of play, combining for three hits, the Skyhawks burst into the score column in the bottom of the third inning. Tate led off the inning with her second home run in as many days, sailing the solo shot over the left field wall. Lauren Smith then singled before being pulled for pinch runner Lindsey Feigl. Feigl then moved from second to third on a successful sacrifice bunt by Meckl. With a runner on third and two outs, Wilson stroked a single through the left side to score Feigl, giving the Skyhawks a 2-0 lead.

Bowling Green (1-6-1) would look to cut into the margin in the ensuing inning, stringing together three consecutive singles to plate one run.

Looking to add some insurance, the Skyhawks tallied an addition three runs in the bottom of the third. Two successful bunt singles by Samantha McClure and Kayla Wade gave the Skyhawks two baserunners with no outs. Freshman Taylor Manning then moved the pair into scoring position on another executed sacrifice bunt, bringing Tate to the plate. Tate would draw a walk to load the bases before the Falcons would allow McClure to score on a wild pitch. Smith would follow the wild pitch with an RBI groundout, plating Wade. The Skyhawks would cap their explosive inning with an RBI single by Meckl through the left side to score Tate, holding a 5-1 lead after four innings.

The Falcons wasted little time tallying three runs in the top of the fifth inning, to trim the Skyhawks advantage from four to just a lone run. BGU would string together a pair of singles before Erica Stratton sailed a three-run home run over the right field wall.

Still trailing by one, Bowling Green would knot the game at 7-7 in the top of the seventh inning. After Stratton drew a walk with one out, she came around to score on an RBI double by Katie Yoho.

In accordance with the tournament format, the game went into an international tie breaker in the eighth inning, placing the last recorded out of the previous inning on second base with no outs. The Skyhawks would retire the first two batters of the inning before a critical infield error allowed the potential winning run to score.

With the Skyhawks trailing by one, Gabby Glenn was placed on second base with no out. Wilson led off the inning by successfully moving Gabby Glenn to third with a sacrifice bunt. Junior Kelsey Dixon would come into the game to pinch hit, recording a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Gabby Glenn to tie the game at 6-6.

Despite the game being tied at 6-6 at the end of eight, the game was called due to travel plans for Bowling Green. The tie is just the fifth tie in program history and second during the Canary era. The last tie came on Feb. 28, 2006 against Middle Tennessee, a game which finished with a final score of 1-1.

Vincent and freshman Tayler Jerrick both earned no decisions in the circle. Vincent tossed 4.2 innings of work, walking four while allowing seven hits and four earned runs. Jerrick appeared in relief, tossing 3.1 innings while striking out three and allowing one earned run on two hits.

Game Two: Georgia Tech 8, UT Martin 5

Neither team wasted much time getting on the board, both scoring in their respective half innings in the first. Georgia Tech (6-1) led off the inning with a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs. Wiegand would get the ensuing batter with a lineout to the pitcher, but would allow the Yellow Jackets first run of the game on a throwing error to third.

Facing an early deficit, the Skyhawks would make a quick strike to take the lead in the bottom of the first. After retiring the first two batters, Tate would draw a walk. Wilson and Meckl would then tally back-to-back singles to score Tate. Wilson would then come around to score the second run of the game off a Gabby Glenn single through the right side to take the 2-1 lead.

Gabby Glenn would continue her impressive afternoon in the bottom of the third. After Tate led off the inning with a walk, Gabby Glenn would stroke a double into left field to score Tate.

The Yellow Jackets would respond to the three unanswered runs by the Skyhawks by exploding for five runs in the top of the fourth. With the bases loaded following a single and a pair of walks and one out, the Skyhawks would proceed to walk the next three batters, bringing in three Georgia Tech baserunners. Following the trio of walks, Karly Fullem would tally the knockout with a two-run double to give the Yellow Jackets the 6-3 advantage.

Georgia Tech would chip on a run in both the sixth and seventh innings before the Skyhawks would look to make their final statements in the seventh frame. Manning would lead off the inning with a walk before Tate moved her from first to third on a double to right center. Senior Stephanie Nidiffer would check in to pinch hit for Wilson, registering an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Manning. Tate would score the game’s final run on a RBI groundout by Meckl but would not be enough to pick up the win, dropping the game by a score of 8-5.

Wiegand got the start for the Skyhawks, tossing 3.2 innings while issuing five walks and allowing four earned runs. Sophomore Autumn Glenn got the loss, dishing out two walks and allowing one earned run in 0.1 innings of work. Freshman Brooke Kennedy made her Skyhawk debut, tossing 3.0 innings of relief. Kennedy struck out one while walking two and allowing one earned run.

UT Martin will return to action next week when they travel to Ole Miss for the Red and Blue Classic starting on Friday, Feb. 21-23. The Skyhawks will open the five-game tournament against Buffalo on Friday at 3:45 p.m.