UT MARTIN SOFTBALL SPLITS ON OPENING DAY OF 2018 SEASON AT MARDI GRAS CLASSIC
Game 1: Boxscore PDF
Game 2: Boxscore PDF
MONROE, La. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team officially opened the 2018 season on Thursday afternoon with a doubleheader matchup on the first day of the ULM Mardi Gras Classic hosted by Louisiana Monroe.
The Skyhawks (1-1) would drop the team’s season opener to Stephen F. Austin by a final score of 7-1 before bouncing back in the team’s second game of the day, outmatching Central Arkansas 3-1 to pick up the squad’s first victory of the season.
Nine different players would tally base knocks on the opening day of the regular season while senior Jodie Duncan pacing the squad with four base hits on the day. Junior Lauren Myers tallied three base hits on the day while the trio of Aeron Smith, Gracyn McBride and Alli Fulcher each notched multi-hit afternoons.
Game 1: Stephen F. Austin 7, UT Martin 1
Stephen F. Austin jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. A pair of walks in the inning would come back to hurt the Skyhawks as Bryana Novegil scored the pair on a two-run single into left field.
UT Martin scored its first run of the 2018 season in the top of the third inning. Three of the first four batters of the inning would reach base to load the bases for Duncan with one out. Needing a big hit, Duncan tallied her first RBI of the season with a single to score freshman Veronica Pezzoni.
The Ladyjacks would add to their margin in both the fourth and sixth innings to seal the team’s first victory of the year. A two-run home run to center by Amber Landry would highlight the fourth inning before a three-run jack by Taylor Fraccastoro in the sixth put the game out of reach, leading to a 7-1 setback.
Transfer sophomore Hannah Ridolfi (0-1) would struggle in her Skyhawk debut, allowing seven walks and four earned runs in five innings of work. Sophomore Seeley Layne also saw action, allowing three runs on two hits in one inning of work.
Game 2: UT Martin 3, Central Arkansas 1
Much like the first game of the day, Central Arkansas got on the board first in the opening inning. A leadoff walk to start the inning later resulted in a run as K. Shepherd to notch the Bears lone run of the contest.
Needing to make a splash of their own, the Skyhawks not only got on the scoreboard in the top of the second but took its first lead of the young campaign. McBride wasted little time getting UT Martin on the board with a solo home run to left field to tie the contest. The Skyhawks would later add another run in the inning as Fulcher drove a double to left center to score freshman Paige Clark on the play.
The Skyhawks added a little extra insurance in the top of the fourth inning. Duncan notched her second base hit of the game with a single to center before moving into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Lauren Myers. With a runner on second, senior Rachel Williams hit a double to the opposite field to bring Duncan home to score and cement a 3-1 victory.
UT Martin will close out the ULM Mardi Gras Classic with a pair of matchups against Grambling State (11 a.m.) and North Texas (1 p.m.) on Friday, Feb. 8.