Story by Blake Bernier, Staff writer
Racers old and new played against each other at Racer Field on Oct. 11 and the current Racers won 11-6 against the alumnae behind the pitching of senior J.J. Francis.
The alumnae team featured six players from last years team, including the star trio of pitcher CheyAnne Gaskey, shortstop Alexa Becker and centerfielder Mo Ramsey.
Head Coach Kara Amundson said she immediately began working on getting the alumnae game set up when she became head coach, and this is the fourth year of the game. The number continues to grow for the alumnae team.
“They set the foundation for what we continue to do,” Amundson said.
In the top of the first inning, Francis struggled with her control, walking the second batter and then after a single by Becker, allowing both runners to advance. With two outs and runners on second and third, junior catcher Jocelynn Rodgers attempted to pickoff the runner at third but the ball ended up in the outfield and the alumnae team took the lead 1-0.
The bottom half of the inning pitted the Racers against the all-time strikeout leader in Murray State history, CheyAnne Gaskey.
Senior second baseman Shelbey Miller led off for the Racers and, like many before her, she struck out.
“I was begging her to swing,” Gaskey said. “I was thinking that maybe I can get it close enough that she will actually swing.”
The next six batters all reached base and with the help of a couple errors and the Racers jumped out to a 5-1 lead and never looked back.
Gaskey said she wasn’t in game condition Sunday but she enjoyed getting to see all of her former teammates and compete again.
“I was just hoping to get the ball across the plate,” Gaskey said. “I haven’t touched a ball since the last game of our season.”
In the second inning the alumnae team loaded the bases with two outs. Molly Hargrove, alumna, walked to the plate with the song “I Just Wanna Run” by The Downtown Fiction playing over the loud speakers. DJing and former player, Mo Ramsey said she was well prepared for the moment.
“I spent about a month getting ready for this game and I have songs I didn’t even get to use,” Ramsey said. “I have songs for everything from timeouts to errors to strikeouts.”
Becker said Ramsey’s disc jockeying made the game fun and kept it light.
It wasn’t just situational music that Ramsey had prepared, she also spent the time to get every former players original walk-up song ready.
Despite the motivational music, Hargrove grounded out to third base, ending the threat. In the bottom of the second the alumnae were provided with a lift from current Racer pitcher sophomore Haven Campbell. Campbell completed a scoreless frame to keep the score 5-1.
The alumnae team cut into the lead in the third inning with three runs on three walks and two singles bringing the score to 5-4.
“I’m impressed with what they did, putting some runs on the board today,” Amundson said. “They haven’t lost their competitiveness.”
The Racers tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the third with six base hits against Campbell.
Junior pitcher Mason Robinson came out to pitch the rest of the game for the Racers, and one of the first batters she faced was 2012 alumna Megan Glosser from Mattoon, Illinois.
Glosser said she didn’t see the ball as well as she used to but it’s a lot of fun getting a chance to compete against the current team. Glosser batted .391 in her senior season.
“These pitchers have really good stuff and I think these girls are going to do really well,” Glosser said.
The Racers will play two doubleheaders this weekend to cap off their fall season. The first doubleheader starts at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and the second starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday. All four games are at Racer Field.