Game 1: Boxscore PDF
Game 2: Boxscore PDF
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team snapped an eight-game losing streak to defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Jacksonville State in the conference opener on Saturday, March 25. The Skyhawks dropped the first game of the doubleheader 4-0 before rallying to pick up a 7-5 victory in the second half of the doubleheader.
The Skyhawks (21-8, 1-1 OVC) tallied 14 hits on the day – including one home runs while driving in six runs to pull off a road split to start conference play. Senior outfielder Carly Gonzales paced the squad with four base hits on the day while Jodie Duncan also tallied three base knocks to lead the road squad. The sophomore pair of Alli Fulcher and Gracyn McBride would both tally three RBIs each to lead the team.
Senior Brooke Kennedy (9-2, 3.15 ERA) picked up her ninth win of the season after tossing a complete game to lift the Skyhawks in Game Two. Sara Hooten (6-3, 3.05 ERA) suffered a defeat, allowing three earned runs in 3.1 innings of work. Seeley Layne also appeared in relief, allowing one earned run in 2.2 innings of work.
Game 1: Jacksonville State 4, UT Martin 0
Jacksonville State would waste little time making its presence known in the OVC opener, scoring a run in the first inning of play to take a lead it would not relinquish. A single up the middle by Anna Chisolm would start of the inning before a RBI single down the left field line by Jamie McGuire would put the Gamecocks on top.
The Gamecocks would get back on the board in the third and fourth innings, pushing the team’s margin out to three runs. McGuire would tally her second RBI of the day with a solo home run to left center in the top of the third. Another home run in the bottom of the fourth, this time by Hayley Sims would give the home squad a 3-0 advantage.
The home team would put the game away down the stretch, holding UT Martin to just one hit over the final three innings while adding another run in the bottom of the sixth to record a 4-0 victory.
Game 2: UT Martin 7, Jacksonville State 5
Much like in Game One, Jacksonville State would get out to an early lead in the first inning. Chisolm once again led off the inning with a single before eventually coming home to score on a RBI single up the middle by Stephanie Lewis.
Jacksonville State would add two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to push its lead out to three runs. A leadoff double by Sims would start the inning before Emily Woodruff scored the pair with a home run to centerfield.
Trailing by three runs, UT Martin finally cracked into the scoring column in a big way in the fifth inning. The Skyhawks would load the bases early in the frame before a wild pitch scored the team’s first runner of the day, leaving two players in scoring position. After Gabby Zizzi would draw a walk of her own to load the bases once again, McBride would drive a three-run double into right center to clear the bags. Following the double and an ensuing error, the Skyhawks would have two base runners for Fulcher who turned on a pitch and drove it for a three-run home run – her fourth of the season – giving UT Martin a 7-3 advantage.
The Gamecocks would chip away in the sixth inning, cutting the deficit in half. A pair of RBI singles by Chisolm and Alexus Jimmerson to trim the margin to two runs. The squad would threaten again in the bottom of the seventh with a pair of baserunners but Kennedy would strikeout Chisolm to end the game and secure the 7-5 victory.
UT Martin will continue its road trip with a doubleheader at OVC rival Tennessee Tech on Sunday, March 26. First pitch from Cookeville is scheduled for noon.