ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team battled until the end, but ultimately fell to Troy 8-7 in eight innings to cap off the final day of the UCF Spring Fling.
The Skyhawks (8-12-1) were led by senior Stephanie Nidiffer who tallied two hits while driving in three runs on the morning. Freshman Carly Gonzales and senior Kayla Wade joined in on the action, tallying the only multi-hits of the day for the Skyhawks. Lauren Smith tallied two RBIs on the morning while Gabby Glenn drove in the other Skyhawk run.
Elizabeth Wiegand (6-3) got the start inside the circle for the Skyhawks, pitching 7.2 innings while allowing 12 hits. Wiegand struck out two while walking three and allowing seven earned runs.
UT Martin got on the board first in the top of the second inning. After freshman Taylor Manning drew a two out walk, she would eventually come around to score on an RBI double to right center by Smith.
Troy would quickly retaliate in the bottom half of the second inning with three runs to take the lead. The Trojans registered two leadoff base singles which would plate their first run of the day. Troy would tally their next two runs on another RBI single before scoring on a fielder’s choice.
The Skyhawks would counter Troy’s inning with a monster inning of their own behind the play of Nidiffer. Wade singled through the right side before Wilson punched one down the left field line to put a pair of runners on base. The senior Nidiffer would place an exclamation point on the inning with a three run home run to left field to retake the 4-3 lead.
UT Martin would add onto its lead in the top of the sixth inning as Nidiffer and Gonzales tallied leadoff singles before being moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Manning. Smith would tally an RBI before Glenn would double to right center, plating another run.
The Skyhawks would tally their final run in the top of the seventh after Dixon and Wade strung together a pair of singles. Dixon would eventually come around to score on an RBI single up the middle by Gonzales.
Troy would fight back in the bottom of the seventh inning, eventually tallying the tying run. The Trojans strung together back-to-back hits to lead off the bottom half of the inning. The bases would eventually become loaded before Amanda Winters would tally a game-tying grand slam to force extra innings.
UT Martin would leave two on base in the top of the eighth inning but could not push across the go-ahead run. Troy tallied no hits in the bottom half of the inning, but eventually pushed across the game-winning run on an RBI sacrifice fly to left field.
The Skyhawks will return to action on Tuesday, March 11 when they host Saint Louis in a mid-week doubleheader. Action from Bettye Giles Field is scheduled to get underway at 3 p.m.