Softball continues streak

Jenny Rohl/The News Junior outfielder Casey Castile stands ready to swing.
Jenny Rohl/The News Junior outfielder Casey Castile stands ready to swing.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Junior outfielder Casey Castile stands ready to swing.

The softball team extended its win streak to seven games this weekend as it swept Austin Peay State in a three-game series. The seven-game win streak is the second longest in school history.

Although pleased with the team’s recent success, Head Coach Kara Amundson said that she is more focused on what lies ahead than what they have already accomplished.

“We try not to focus on that stuff too much,” Amundson said. “The win streak means we are doing some things right but we need to look forward to the next game and the next series.”

Murray State came into the weekend with a 21-18 record and a four-game win streak only to be met by Austin’s Peay’s similar record of 18-21 and a two-game win streak of its own.

Austin Peay looked to squash the Racers’ hopes early in the first game as the Governors scored in the bottom of the first on a triple by Lauren de Castro that scored Mel Pavel.

The Racers quickly responded, however, when junior Casey Castile led off the frame with a single then advanced to second on an Austin Peay error.

The game was then tied at one when freshman Cayla Levins brought Castile home on a single of her own. Freshman Jocelynn Rodgers and sophomore Erica Howard followed with timely hits to bring Levins home for the score, pushing the lead out to 2-1.

Austin Peay quickly tied the game back up on a score by de Castro off a Racer error.

In the seventh inning, freshman Taylor Odom scored the winning run off a double from Levins, who was then thrown out at third.

The bottom of the seventh did not go as smoothly as the Racers would have liked as the first two Austin Peay batters reached on Murray State errors. The Racers found a way to hold on, though, holding the Governors scoreless to win the game 3-2.

The second game of the series was much less of a contest as Murray State blew out Austin Peay 12-2.

The first inning was uneventful with both teams remaining scoreless, but Murray State hit its stride in the second with five runs, capped by two runs by Shelbey Miller and Howard on an error by the Governors.

Austin Peay showed resiliency in the bottom of the frame by scoring one run when Rikki Arkansas singled to bring in Laurel Burroughs, but that was the only life they would show for the rest of the game.

The Racers would go on to score three more runs in the third, two in the fourth and two in the fifth.

The Racers finished the game with 13 hits marking just the second time in program history that they have recorded more than 10 hits in three straight games.

Junior Mo Ramsey attributed the team’s recent hitting success to a diverse core of hitters.

“We have such a variety of hitters, someone is going to be hitting every game,” Ramsey said. “We just trust each other so much right now.”

The Racers completed the series sweep Sunday, putting together a 6-0 shutout against Austin Peay.

Miller was first on the board for the Racers when she scored on a sacrifice from junior Alexa Becker.

Miller and Ramsey continued to hit the ball well, both getting on base with a single.

They were then driven home for the score on a fielder’s choice by senior Leslie Bridges to push the lead to 3-0.

The Racers tacked on two more points in the fourth inning on runs by freshmen Mallory Young and Miller.

Levins scored the last point of the game in the fifth inning on a double from Rodgers.

Mason Robinson pitched a complete game shutout for her third shutout of the season.

Amundson was pleased with her team after the three-game sweep.

“Any time you can go on the road and get three wins is a big deal, especially in the second half of our conference season,” Amundson said. “It gives us a big boost to our team chemistry and our standings in the conference.”

 

Story by Peter Northcutt, Staff writer