OXFORD, Ala. -- After rallying to pick up its first postseason tournament victory in the Division I era, the Belmont University Softball team was unable to hold its form on Friday at the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The No. 8 Bruins (35-22) fell to in-state rival UT Martin (38-17), who was seeded No. 2, 4-0, in the consolation bracket.
UT Martin made a mark on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning and the Bruins struggled to find a way to post its own runs. The Skyhawks posted a run in their halves of both the third and fourth innings, including a solo home run, to go up 3-0.
However, Belmont had a strong scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third frame. Senior Kayla Wells (Bonney Lake, Wash.), sophomore Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.) and freshman Bailey Sims (Flowery Branch, Ga.) were all walked to load the bases. Unfortunately, the Bruins were unable to plate any of those runners to chip away at the UTM lead. A 46-minute rain delay to start the fourth inning appeared to hamper both teams.
BU continued to trail UTM as the game went into its later innings. The Bruins were able to get runners on base but were unsuccessful in their attempts to add a run during the contest. The matchup was halted again, this time for nearly 90 minutes due to heavy rain and lightning in the bottom of the fifth inning. After play resumed, BU still couldn't find an offensive rhythm down the stretch. The Skyhawks added an insurance run off a home run to take a 4-0 lead, in the top of the seventh. Belmont was unable to rally in its half of the same and fell by the same score.
Freshman Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) went the distance inside the circle, logging five strikeouts.
Belmont conclude the 2017 campaign with a 35-22 record overall and a 10-12 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play.