The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team will open up play in the Ohio Valley Conference Softball Championship as the No. 2 seed first just the second time in program history when tournament play begins on Wednesday, May 10 against No. 7 seed Tennessee Tech. First pitch from Choccolocco Park is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
The Skyhawks (36-16, 13-5 OVC) will compete for the OVC Softball Championship for the 16th time in the past 17 years when action kicks off on Wednesday. UT Martin is making its 21st appearance in the event since its conception in 1994. This marks just the second time the Skyhawks have entered the field as the second seed while holding a 29-34 all-time mark in the tournament.
UT Martin boasts a formidable four-some in the group of Carly Gonzales, Jodie Duncan, Brooke Kennedy and Aeron Smith. The quartet each earned All-OVC honors with Gonzales and Duncan receiving nods to the first team while Kennedy and Smith both made their second team debuts.
Ranking as a premiere outfielder in the league, Gonzales enters the tournament boasting a .377 batting average along with 49 runs scored, 57 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, a home run, 19 RBIs and 39 stolen bases. Duncan isn’t far behind in the offensive categories, tying for the team-lead with 57 hits while posting a .363 batting average along with nine doubles, six home runs and 42 RBIs. Smith has also posted a nice season, hitting .298 with five doubles, a home run and 22 RBIs. Additionally, the Skyhawks feature the trio of Renate Meckl (.325), Savannah Dodson (.323) and Lauren Myers (.302) to provide a balanced scoring attack.
In the pitching circle, Kennedy earned All-OVC second team honors after boasting the program’s fourth 20-win season with an overall record of 20-5 along with a 2.87 ERA in 153.2 innings of work. Kennedy has also tossed 17 complete games while notching three shutouts. In OVC play alone, Kennedy ranked as the only pitcher to post a perfect 10-0 mark while notching a save and a 1.99 ERA in 67 innings of work.
As a team, UT Martin leads the OVC in runs scored (297) and on base percentage (.383) while setting a new league record with 141 stolen bases – which ranks third nationally. Additionally, the Skyhawks rank second in the OVC in RBIs (251), walks (143), batting average (.302) and wins (36).
Fans watch every game of the double-elimination tournament for free, courtesy of the OVC Digital Network. Live stats will also be available for every contest. For game specific links, head over to tournament central at the top of the page.