March 1, 2014

Princeton: Boxscore     PDF                   Stetson: Boxscore     PDF

ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team split a pair of games to open the UCF Holiday Inn Tournament in Orlando, Fla. The Skyhawks opened the tournament with a 4-0 victory over Princeton before falling to Stetson 2-1 in dramatic walk-off fashion.

The Skyhawks (5-9-1) were led by senior Kayla Wade who posted a .500 batting average along with one of the team’s five RBIs on the day while leading the team with three hits. Deven Wilson was the only other Skyhawk to have multiple hits on the day, while joining Lauren Smith, Renate Meckl and Taylor Manning with one RBI each.

UT Martin posted an impressive 1.05 ERA in the circle today behind the pitching of a pair of Skyhawk freshmen. Elizabeth Wiegand picked up the victory over Princeton with a complete game shutout. Wiegand allowed just two hits on the day while striking out three. Tayler Jerrick got the start against Stetson, tossing 6.1 innings of work. Jerrick struck out one on the day while issuing two walks and allowing two earned runs.

Game One: UT Martin 4, Princeton 0

The Skyhawks got the game started in the top of the first inning with an early run. Wade led off the inning with a single through the right side before swing second base. Wade would come around to score on an ensuing double to left center by Manning, switching spots with Wade. The Skyhawks would eventually get runners on second and third, but could not tally another run.

UT Martin would get back on the board in the top of the seventh inning, landing the game’s knockout blow with three runs. Wade would start the rally by drawing a one-out walk. Following a groundout and a wild pitch, Wade would move to third with two outs. Tate would then draw a walk of her own before swing second for her first stolen base of the year. Wilson would come through in the clutch as she singled through the left side for an RBI, scoring Wade from third. Meckl would keep the inning going with another single through the left side to score Tate. The Skyhawks would score their fourth and final run of the game on an RBI walk by Smith.

Wiegand (3-1) was dominant for the Skyhawks inside the circle, tossing a complete game shutout. In Wiegand’s seven innings of work, she allowed just two hits while striking out three.

Game Two: Stetson 2, UT Martin 1

Much like against Princeton, the Skyhawks scored first in their matchup against Stetson. Smith led off the top of the third inning with a walk before being pulled for pinch runner Bella Zizzi. Zizzi eventually moved over to third base following back-to-back groundouts to short. Zizzi would finally come around to score when Wade tallied an RBI single into right center, giving the Skyhawks the early one run advantage.

The Skyhawks would retain the one run lead until the bottom of the seventh inning. Stetson led off the inning with a single through the left side, before being caught stealing. The Hatters would string together three consecutive singles, scoring the tying run off an RBI single by Courtney Brandt. Stetson would pull out their final trick of the afternoon, converting on a suicide squeeze to push across the game-winning run off an RBI bunt by Brittany Hawn to pick up the 2-1 victory.

Earning the hard-fought loss was the freshman Jerrick. Jerrick pitched 6.1 innings while striking out one and allowing two walks. She was credited with two earned runs on the afternoon.

UT Martin will return to action tomorrow, Sunday, March 2 when they wrap up the UCF Holiday Inn Tournament against College of Charleston at 9 a.m.