Story by John Morris, Staff writer
The Murray State softball team comes off a weekend of games at the Kennesaw State University Kickoff Classic, their first tournament at Bailey Park.
In 2015, the Racers opened their spring season going 3-2, as opposed to this spring, beginning 2-2.
They started off the weekend with a two-game losing streak, falling first to Loyola Chicago 9-1 and then 7-0 to Kennesaw.
“We did not really do much in the first two games Friday that were playing to the level and ability that we are capable of, and the losses we took showed that,” said Head Coach Kara Amundson.
Amundson said the team put together good efforts and was in high spirits.
The Racers came out swinging and got two wins on Sunday, the final day of the tournament. The Racers handled Loyola Chicago with an 8-1 win.
The Racers followed with a win against Eastern Tennessee State, shutting them out 5-0.
“We executed both offensively and defensively,” Amundson said. “We moved runners when we needed to, we made the routine plays defensively and we attacked the zone from the pitcher circle.”
Loyola was first on the board in the game on Sunday, starting with a home run, but the momentum quickly switched over in the Racers favor as they came away with eight straight runs.
Junior infielder, Jessica Twaddle went 3-for-3 in the game, adding a double, two runs and two stolen bases, an RBI and a walk. Junior catcher Jocelynn Rodgers went 3-for-3 with her first run of the season followed by senior infielder, Shelbey Miller, who also added to the day’s production going 2-for-4. The Racers had a total of 11 hits and the three combined for eight of them.
In game two against ETSU, the Racers had five hits but not in their favor. The Racer’s defense came away with three doubles.
The Racers came up with solid execution from the plate with five straight hits.
Miller and Twaddle showed up again in game two when Miller went 3-for-3, two RBIs with a double and a run. Twaddle scored and stole two bases for the second consecutive game.
Junior infielder Maggie Glass had three runs batting 2-for-3 batting with two RBIs and her first home run of the season.
The Racers’ defensive performance was led by the solid pitching, said Amundson.
Junior pitcher Mason Robinson won both games for the Racers, only allowing one run in 11 innings and just seven hits.
“Our pitchers did a great job of attacking the zone, and allowing the defense to make plays behind them,” Amundson said. “I believe we turned five double plays on the weekend, which is pretty impressive.”
Saturday, the Racers’ slate of games was canceled due to weather concerns. This gave them an extra day of preparation going into the games played on Sunday.
Murray State will play against Austin Peay State, Missouri State and Western Kentucky on Saturday and Sunday.
The Racers will be at the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic hosted by Western Kentucky.