|Grand slam highlights Skyhawk win |
|CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team crossed the plate seven times in the fourth inning to knock off Southeast Missouri 7-5 in the series finale of the three-game set Sunday afternoon. Savannah Roberts capped off the seven-run explosion with a towering grand slam over the wall in left field. |
With the win, UT Martin improves to 26-24 on the year and 10-9 in Ohio Valley Conference action, while Southeast Missouri falls to 24-25 on the season and 11-13 in conference.
Southeast Missouri was able to take an early 1-0 lead in the first inning after Michelle Summers led off the game with a single that came right back at Skyhawk starter Ashton Strode, striking her in the hip. While lying on the ground in pain, Strode attempted to still get the out at first but the throw was errant, allowing Summers to reach second.
Summers scored on Megan McDonald’s double. SEMO had a chance to do more damage in the first, but a diving catch in foul territory by catcher Laurie Lindow ended the inning.
Southeast Missouri added its second run in the top of the second when Stacia Dopudja led off with a first-pitch solo home run to center. The Skyhawks responded in the top of the fourth though, with a seven-run explosion that was capped off by Roberts’ grand slam.
Lindow led off the fourth with a double to center, followed by three consecutive hits. Kara Harper and Megan Latimer both singled, with Latimer’s driving in Lindow. Ashley Benbow singled to center to load the bases. Greer Long reached first on a bobbled grounder. The error also allowed Harper to score and tie the game at two runs each.
With the bases still loaded, Megan Williams was hit by an Elaine Fisher pitch, forcing Latimer and the go-ahead run across the plate. That left the bases loaded and set the stage for Roberts’ first grand slam of the season. The long ball was the second of the year for Roberts and also moved her into sixth place on the all-time home run list at UT Martin, where she is tied with current assistant coach Sarah Daws at 12.
In the bottom of the fourth, Southeast Missouri was able to put three more runs on the board. In almost identical fashion to the top half of the inning, Lauren Bradley led off the inning with a double to center, and then the Redhawks got back-to-back singles to plate Bradley. With two outs and runners on second and third, Fowler knocked a single to center to bring in the final two runs for Southeast Missouri and cut the UTM lead to only 7-5.
Paij Lintz picked up the win after relieving Strode in the third inning. Lintz tossed four innings, while giving up no runs and scattering six hits.
“This was a good win for us to pick up today, and like last week, we were able to find a way to win,” Skyhawk head coach Donley Canary said. “We had some good hitting today, especially from Savannah Roberts who had an absolutely outstanding weekend.”
That was enough of a lead for the Skyhawks though as they held for the 7-5 win, along with holding on to the fifth spot in the OVC standings.
UTM will next play today (Tuesday), when it hosts Mid-Continent College for a 2 p.m. non-conference showdown.