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September 21, 2023

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Falcon softball team finds identity in Atlanta tournament

The softball team will come back from their tournament in Atlanta. Having added two losses, one win and one tie to their record.

Despite the losses, this weekend was an improvement from last weekend.

Game one was an 11-1 loss to host team Georgia State. Those 11 runs were the most that the Falcons have given up so far this season. Georgia State went 4-1 on the weekend.

“Our team found our identity in terms of who we are as a team and that’s an important piece,” head coach Shannon Salsburg said. “When you’re not sure what kind of team you are going to be you will go out and have uncertainty. That ETSU game was the catalyst of saying ‘This is who we are.’”

East Tennessee State was a win for their second game of the day. Senior Katie Yoho had her first home run of the season to give the Falcons an early 1-0 lead. The Buccaneers responded with four runs in the fifth and six innings to put them up 4-1.

It was two freshmen who cut the deficit in the bottom of the sixth. With Haley Schrock in scoring position after hitting a single, Chelsea Raker hit a two run home run to bring the score up to 4-3.

Senior captain Erika Stratton hit a solo home run right after Raker to give the Falcons back to back home runs and tie the game up at 4-4.

Freshman Amanda Durham hit a walk off triple in the bottom of the seventh for her first collegiate hit and sent Madison Schrock home to give the Falcons a 5-4 win.

On day two of the tournament, the Falcons lost to Georgia Tech 3-0 and tied against Tennessee at Martin 6-6. The 6 runs scored against UT-Martin was a season high for the Falcons.

The Falcons were down 2-0 after three innings. After Yoho plated a run to bring them back 2-1, UT-Martin scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the advantage 5-1.

The Falcons responded with some solid hitting in the next three innings. Stratton hit a three-run homer in the top of the fifth to get her team into position down only one. One of Yoho’s six hits of the game sent Stratton home to tie the game up.

“The team never felt out. When UT-Martin got the big hit, our team came back from the dugout and said ‘let’s get after it,’” Salsburg said. “It is just a different mind set that we have now. They really believe in themselves.” The game was called after eight innings due to travel plans.

Yoho had six hits during the second day of the tournament. “Yoho is an important piece to our lineup and Erica Stratton continues to come up clutch for us when we need it,” Salsburg said. “Even when we are not having successful outcomes we are having solid at-bats and when you do that people will make mistakes.”

The Falcons will travel to Mississippi next weekend for the Ole Miss tournament where they will play Northern Colorado, Ole Miss, Buffalo, Saint Louis University and rematch the University of Tennessee Martin.

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