After two weeks spent facing off against conference schools the Racers have come out on top – well, more or less.
The Racers are currently 6-3 in OVC play, having taken at least one win from every OVC school they’ve seen. At about this time last year the Racers had no conference wins.
On the weekend that kicked off Spring Break the Racers took a game from Jacksonville State University, giving JSU its second loss of the conference season. Though the Racers lost the following two to the Gamecocks, picked to win the conference, sophomore first baseman Leslie Bridges was pleased.
“I felt like as a team we played pretty well against Jacksonville State,” Bridges said. “We knew that they were the top of the conference going in and we just wanted to go out and play hard. We knew that we usually play pretty well against Jacksonville State so we felt pretty good about our chances and about how we were playing. We went out and took the first game. We lost the last two, but I still think we did what we needed to.”
A week later Murray State played at home, taking two of their three games from UT-Martin, picked third in the OVC.
“UT-Martin is kind of a rivalry with us and we get excited to play them,” Bridges said. “We were glad to be playing them at home this year and that we had the chance to take a series from the top in the conference. We came out and put everything we had out there.”
On Sunday, however, the Racers lost their shot at a second sweep, losing 4-2.
“The third game against Martin we played well,” Bridges said. “We just had one bad inning in there and weren’t able to put enough runs across the board. Overall it wasn’t anything we need to get down about. Coach was talking to us about how we don’t need to get too high or too low this season and keep it kind of even-keeled. So coming off that loss we just need to keep going at it hard and take the next series too.”
This weekend the Racers faceoff against last year’s conference champions. Though the Racers are coming off a loss, they have no doubt they can manage a win against Eastern Illinois.
“We know that they won the conference last year, but we feel like we’re better than we were last year and better than we’ve ever been before,” Bridges said. “I think we can go in and take those wins like we should.”
In fact, though the conference season is only just beginning, the Racers are confident this year could yield rewards the young program has only dreamed of so far.
“We feel good in conference,” Bridges said. “We feel like we definitely have a shot to win it. We’ve looked really good against the top two teams we’ve played so far and we’re going into Eastern Illinois next weekend and we think we can take that series too. If we keep playing good, if we keep playing our game good things will happen.”
The Racers play their next home games at 2 and 4 p.m. Wednesday against SIU-E.