UT Martin Softball to host SEMO in home finale Wednesday

 UT Martin Softball to host SEMO in home finale Wednesday

The UT Martin softball team hosts its final home series of the season Wednesday when it welcomes OVC rival Southeast Missouri to Bettye Giles Field.

First pitch of the scheduled doubleheader is slated for 3:00.

The Skyhawks enter the matchup with a 25-16 overall mark and 14-12 in the league standings.

UT Martin is still in contention for a final spot in next week’s OVC Softball Championship but will need a strong push in the final week of the regular season along with help from its conference foes with five games to play.

UT Martin features seven players hitting over .300 on the season while Shyanne Sheffield paces the team with a .384 batting average. Paige Clark led the team last week by hitting .526 over the course of five games while stringing together 10 hits out of the leadoff spot. Meanwhile, slugging first baseman Kaitlyn Kelley ranks amongst league leaders with 10 doubles, 16 home runs and 46 RBIs on the season.

In the circle, Alexis Groet has anchored the pitching staff and ranked as one of the best hurlers in the league with a 12-5 record while posting a 1.25 ERA in 112.1 innings of work. She has struck out 109 batters on the season while limiting opponents to a .204 batting average. Erin Gallagher has also started 16 games in the circle for the Skyhawks while posting a 5-5 record with a 3.30 ERA.

SEMO (24-14, 19-5 OVC) heads into the final week sitting in first place in the conference standings after a three-game sweep of Murray State. The Redhawks boast a balanced offense and a strong pitching staff which ranks near the top of the league in several categories.

Katie Dreiling paces the team offensively with a .378 batting average with 10 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs while Rachel Anderson is hitting .357 with six doubles, five home runs and 27 RBIs along with nine stolen bases. Reigning OVC Player of the Week Ashley Ellis packs the thunder for the Redhawks, holding the program-record for career home runs while tallying 16 this season along with 39 RBIs.

On the pitching side, reigning OVC Pitcher of the Week Rachel Rook leads the staff with a 16-8 record and a 2.23 ERA in 131.2 innings of work. She has struck out 162 batters and limited opponents to a .193 batting average while recording seven shutouts on the year. Paytience Holman (6-6, 3.45 ERA) has also tallied 15 starts for the Redhawks with three shutouts in 75 innings.

The two teams have met 99 times previously with SEMO holding a 56-43 advantage in series history. The Skyhawks are 18-25 all-time against the Redhawks at home with the team’s last win coming in 2017.