NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team notched its seventh shutout victory of the season, earning an 8-0 victory in five innings over Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State to sweep the squad’s road trip through Music City following a pair of victories against Belmont yesterday.
The Skyhawks (35-15, 12-4 OVC) continued their hot play as of late, winning eight of their last nine conference games to steadily climb higher up league standings. Today’s game would mark the eighth shortened due to a mercy rule while improving to 24-3 when scoring first.
As a team the Skyhawks would tally 10 hits on the day with the trio of Carly Gonzales, Jodie Duncan and Alli Fulcher each notching multi-hit afternoons. Five different players tallied RBIs on the day while Gracyn McBride and Savannah Dodson both notched two each.
In the pitching circle, senior Brooke Kennedy (19-5) picked up her 47th career victory to move into sole possession of third place on the program’s all-time wins leaderboard. Kennedy remained perfect in OVC play, pushing her record to 9-0 while posting a 1.98 ERA. Kennedy notched her third shutout of the season, striking out five while allowing just one walk.
UT Martin would jump out to an early lead in the first inning. Gonzales would push her streak of games reaching base to 26 with a leadoff double to left center before moving to third as Lauren Myers singled to center and advanced into scoring position on the throw. With a pair of runners on, McBride would tally a two-run double into right center to put the Skyhawks on the board. Another run would come home as Duncan hit an opposite field double to plate the team’s third run while Fulcher later came home on an error by the pitcher.
With a four run lead in the books, the Skyhawks looked for more in the top of the third. A leadoff walk by Rachel Williams would be followed by consecutive singles by Duncan and Fulcher to score a run. Another hit by Alicia Hansen would keep the runners moving before two runs scored on a two-run single to right Dodson to make it a seven-run advantage. Dodson would later steal second and third before Gonzales punctuated the inning with a single up the middle to make it an 8-0 contest.
With UT Martin holding an eight-run lead, the Skyhawks were enacted the mercy rule. As heavy amounts of rain approached the city, the Skyhawks would tally six consecutive bunts to complete the game and the 8-0 victory.
The Skyhawks will now shift its focus to the classroom with finals being conducted on the UT Martin campus. The team will ultimately return to action on Saturday, May 6 when playing host to Southeast Missouri in the team’s regular season doubleheader finale. The Skyhawks will honor the team’s three seniors prior to first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.