Racers defeat UTM in series

Freshman J. J. Francis delivers a pitch against Bethel at Central Park. Taylor McStoots || The News
Freshman J. J. Francis delivers a pitch against Bethel at Central Park. Taylor McStoots || The News

Freshman J. J. Francis delivers a pitch against Bethel at Central Park. Taylor McStoots || The News

The Murray State softball team defeated UT Martin in two out of the three games they played last weekend.

This was the first time in program history that the Murray State softball team has won a series against UT Martin.

Head Coach Kara Amundson said this win was special for the team.

“It’s super exciting for this program to go to a school that historically we haven’t been able to win at and get some good wins in the conference,” she said.

The two teams played a double header Saturday followed by a single game Sunday.

The first game was uneventful until the bottom of the fourth when UT Martin hit a home run to score one run. This was the only run scored all game and gave UT Martin its first win of the series.

The second game began with the Racers scoring in the top of the first inning. Freshman Shelbey Miller doubled and scored after sophomore Mo Ramsey reached first on a fielder’s choice.

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The Racers scored again in the second inning off a home run by sophomore Mallory Richardson. Neither team scored until the top of the sixth when the Racers added to their lead.

Sophomore Casey Castile made a sacrifice bunt to score Ramsey and increase the lead to 3-0.

UT Martin turned around in the bottom of the sixth and scored one run off a double. However, the home team was unable to score any more runs. Murray State’s Richardson hit a home run in the seventh to secure the win, 4-1.

In the third game, senior Ellyn Troup hit a home run in the top of the second to give Murray State an early 1-0 lead. UT Martin hit a home run of its own in the bottom of the third to tie the game.

No other runs were scored until the top of the fifth when sophomore Alexa Becker hit a two-run home run to score Ramsey and take back the lead.

In the bottom of the third, UT Martin came back to score one run, but it was not enough. The Racers held the Skyhawks and won the final game 3-2 to take the series.

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“This weekend was a very positive point in the season for us,” Amundson said. “It was the first time we played three games back-to-back with such intensity and focus.”

The Racers will play a doubleheader against Tennessee State Saturday at home and a doubleheader against Belmont in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday. This will only be the second time this season that they have played four games in two days.

“Being able to bring that focus, intensity and consistency we had last weekend is going to be a big deal,” Amundson said.

She said she believes it is always tough playing four games in two days, so staying healthy and practicing hard are going to be important for the team to be successful.

The Racers’ doubleheader against Tennessee State starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by a second game at 3 p.m.