HAMMOND, La. – University of Tennessee at Martin softball team picked up a clean sweep of the Southeastern Louisiana Lion Classic behind a dominating performance by senior pitcher Alyssa Vanlandingham, tossing the seventh no-hitter in program history en route to an 8-0 victory in six innings over Mississippi Valley State.
The Skyhawks (4-0) concluded a perfect appearance in the Lion Classic with the team’s best total performance of the young season. Vanlandingham stole the show by keeping the Devillettes off balance throughout the contest. The lefty would toss the first no-hitter for the Skyhawks since 2010 by striking out five and issuing two walks in six innings of work.
On the offensive side the Skyhawks notched the team’s second mercy rule of the tournament behind a power display by sophomore Gracyn McBride. McBride led all players with a pair of base hits, including a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Aeron Smith, Kaitlyn Martin and Allison Evans also tallied RBIs in the contest.
The game would stay scoreless through the first three innings before UT Martin broke onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Three consecutive singles would lead to the game’s first run as McBride laced a single up the middle to put the Skyhawks on top. The squad added to the margin with another single up the middle, this time by Smith to take a 2-0 advantage before ultimately adding one more run in the frame off an error.
UT Martin looked for some extra breathing room in the fifth inning. A leadoff single by Renate Meckl would start the scoring inning on the right foot. After the senior swiped second between a pair of outs, McBride came through in the clutch to bring the runner in from scoring position with a two-run blast to left center.
With a spectacular pitching performance in the book, the Skyhawks looked to officially put the game away in the bottom of the sixth. Savannah Dodson would draw a leadoff walk before moving al the way to third base after swiping second and advancing on a wild pitch. The speedster would later come around to score on a wild pitch. As a whole, the Skyhawks would draw three consecutive walks before a single by Martin through the left side scored the inning’s second run. A simple groundout would by Evans would tally the game’s ultimate deciding run to enact the mercy rule, scoring Gabby Zizzi from third on the play.
UT Martin will return to action next week at the Alabama State Tournament in Montgomery, Ala. beginning on Friday, Feb. 17-18.