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Clipping the Skyhawks' Wings

Clipping the Skyhawks' Wings

MARTIN, Tenn. -- Belmont Softball swept a doubleheader to close the regular season on a high note.  The Bruins (25-25, 6-16 OVC) won the opening contest, 3-1, and picked up a shutout of the nightcap, 2-0, over UT Martin (25-30, 9-13 OVC).

Game one saw the teams locked in a 0-0 stalemate for the majority of the contest, thanks to a pitcher's duel.  Neither team was able to successfully get a runner to third more than once, thanks to strong defense.  Finally, the Bruins made their move in the top of the seventh inning.  Junior Sami Long (Springfield, Ill.) singled to right and was moved to second base after a well-placed sac bunt by freshman Georgia McKee (Frisco, Texas).  A ground out pushed Long to third before a single deep to right by classmate Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.) sent her over the plate.  Senior Jess Andree (Darien, Ill.) followed with two-run homer over the left fence to bring the BU scoring tally to three runs.  

UTM was down but immediately made moves to narrow the scoring gap in its half of the inning.  Leadoff batter Alicia Hansen knocked a solo homerun to left, quickly forcing the Bruins to clamp down defensively.  Sophomore Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) was moved into the circle to help preserve the BU lead and Belmont was able to efficiently collect three outs to seal its 3-1 win.

In game two, both teams were silent through the first two innings before the Bruins made their move.  In the top of the third frame, junior Taylor Hargrove (Greenbrier, Tenn.) laid down a perfect bunt and was pushed to second base after a sacrifice bunt by Cook.  A single deep to left by Andree allowed the speedster Hargrove to round the bases to notch the first run of the contest.  BU continued to keep the Skyhawks silent offensively through the remainder of the game, allowing only one additional hit to be recorded as it held on to its lead.

The Bruins added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning behind another effort by Andree.  This time it was a double by Cook that opened the door for the scoring opportunity as Andree drove a single to right to help send her over the plate to secure the 2-0 victory.

For the day, senior Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.) led the Bruins at the plate, going 3-for-5.  Cook went 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI while Andree went 3-for 7 with four RBI, a double and a homerun.

Inside the circle, Lee earned her first save of the season and fanned six batters while freshman Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) recorded a pair of strikeouts.

Belmont finishes the 2018 campaign with a 25-25 overall mark and a 6-16 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.