The third seeded UT Martin softball team faces SIUE in the consolation bracket Thursday afternoon after dropping a 6-2 decision in the winners bracket earlier in the day of the OVC Softball Championship.
The Skyhawks (33-18) struggled to find their offensive footing in the contest after being limited to just five hits in the contest. Kaitlyn Kelley led the team with two hits – including a solo home run and a RBI single while Paige Clark, Katie Dreiling and Maddi Long also reached the hit column.
Erin Gallagher (12-4) was hit with the loss after pitching in her second outing of the championship. She tossed five-plus innings before being relieved in the bottom of the sixth inning, allowing three earned runs on six hits. Alexis Groet also saw action in the circle, tossing one inning of relief while allowing one earned run on one hit.
Belmont (31-15) jumped out to an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning following singles by Shyanne Cavanaugh and a RBI by Emily Cockrill to take the early 1-0 advantage.
UT Martin’s lone scoring inning came in the fourth when Clark tallied the team’s first base hit of the contest before Shyanne Sheffield reached on a fielder’s choice and then advanced into scoring position with a stolen base. With the team’s first runner in scoring position, Kelly – yesterday’s hero – came up with another big hit in the tournament with a RBI single up the middle to get on the board.
Belmont retook the lead on a solo home run in fourth inning off a solo home run by Cockrill to left center before putting the game away in the sixth with four insurance runs on RBI singles by Abi Ledbetter and Emma Barnes to bring the margin to 6-1.
The Skyhawks added one final run in the seventh inning on Kelley’s seventh home run of the season to bring the final score to 6-2.
UT Martin has a quick turnaround with a matchup in the consolation bracket against SIUE at 3:00 Thursday afternoon.