MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team had to endure a 60-minute severe weather delay due to heavy amounts of lightning in the area, postponing the start of tonight’s contest by over an hour before ultimately falling 7-2 to Southeastern Conference foe No. 18 Ole Miss.
The Skyhawks (31-14) proved no match to the nation’s No. 18 ranked program in regional power Ole Miss. UT Martin would manage just four hits on the afternoon while allowing six earned runs to score on top of a pair of errors. Meanwhile, the Rebels would explode for seven runs on 12 hits – scoring in six of the seven innings.
Four different players would tally base hits for the Skyhawks as Carly Gonzales, Jodie Duncan, Aeron Smith and Reid Ballard each scratched out base knocks. Gonzales extended her streak of consecutive games reaching base to 21 while scoring a run. The junior duo of Duncan and Smith would represent the team’s offense with each tallying a RBI.
Brooke Kennedy (16-4, 2.82 ERA) suffered the loss after allowing five earned runs in four innings of work. Sara Hooten who appear in relief, allowing two runs in three innings.
No. 18 Ole Miss (31-13) would score early and often, jumping out to an early lead in the first inning. The Rebels would turn to Elantra Cox to start the game, tallying a single through the left side. A pair of outs would almost feature an escape route for the Skyhawks but a single through the left side by Sarah Van Schaik brought the speedster home to score.
UT Martin turned to the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. Gonzales led off the inning with a single down the left field line before moving into scoring position following a sacrifice bunt by Lauren Myers. Later in the inning, Gonzales would come home to score on a two-out single by Duncan to put the Skyhawks on the board.
The Rebels would push their lead out once again with runs in both the second and third innings to give the squad a two-run advantage. Cox would come through with a RBI of her own in the second, stroking a single up the middle to break the tie. The third inning saw Van Schaik tallied her second RBI of the game, blasting a RBI double into the left center field gap to make it a 3-1 contest.
The Skyhawks looked to trim the deficit back within one run in the bottom of the third. The inning would start with Gracyn McBride advancing all the way to third on a fielding error at the wall to move into scoring position. Needing just a base knock to score the team’s second run, Smith would lace a single to right field to cut the margin to one run.
Ole Miss would not be content though, rolling through the final four innings of play by scoring four runs to push the margin out to its final score of 7-2. A two-run single by Kylan Becker would highlight the fourth inning for the Rebels before squad capped off the night’s scoring with RBIs by Grayce Majam and Ashton Lampton.
UT Martin will return to action with a pair of home OVC doubleheaders over the weekend. The Skyhawks will play host to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, April 22 before taking on Morehead State on Sunday, April 23. First pitch from Bettye Giles Field is scheduled for 1 p.m. each day.