Softball wins two games at Hilltopper Classic

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Racers find success despite weather issues

Story by John Morris, Staff writer

The Racers finished the weekend with a two non-conference wins against Missouri State and Austin Peay State at Western Kentucky University.
At the 2016 Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic, the Racers came away with their two-game sweep on Saturday, which was intended to be a four-game tournament. Sunday’s games were canceled because of weather.

“We play Western Kentucky in a midweek game every year, switching between teams who hosts the game,” Coach Kara Amundson said.

GAME ONE

Game one was a standoff with the Missouri State Bears because of their defensive matchup.
Both teams had a solid pitching effort as seen by both Murray State’s junior Mason Robinson and Missouri State’s Jessie Van Es. Robinson and Van Es had three strikeouts and three walks apiece. Robinson only gave up three hits with nine scoreless innings while Van Es had four hits with eight scoreless innings.
The Racers’ defense was stout coming out the Missouri State game, leading the nation with their sixth double play.
With the teams going scoreless, a tiebreaker was needed. The relatively new rule states that when a softball game is tied at the end of six innings, the International Tiebreaker Rule goes into affect. At the start of each inning, a runner is placed on second base with the intent of accelerating opportunities to score and bringing the game to a speedier conclusion.

Missouri State started on the offensive, and once again the defense of the Racers came through as it had before, giving the opportunity of a win to Murray State.
The tiebreaker finished the game when the Racers’ lineup placed sophomore Maggie Glass on second base and put senior Shelbey Miller up to bat. Miller hit a fly ball, which ultimately gave enough time for Glass to run it home.

ADMUNDSON,-Kara“The highlight would have been securing a 1-0 win in 9 innings versus Missouri State,” Amundson said. “It was the first game that we went into extra innings this year and it was a good test for us.”

GAME TWO

The Racers came out of the gate against the Governors with their second win on Saturday. In the first two innings, the Racers walked away with seven runs, getting another score in the fourth inning and holding an 8-0 lead.
The Racers had another solid pitching game as shown by sophomore Haven Campbell. Campbell stepped on the mound for the Racer with three hits and no runs and a strike in four innings. She received her first win in her first appearance of 2016. Her relief, freshman Amber Van Duyse, also showed good pitching efforts with a no hitter, two strikeouts and an unearned run.
Pitching efforts weren’t all that helped the Racers; their efforts at the plate proved to help them win as well. Junior Mallory Young was 1-2 with a walk, a double and she drove home the game with two  runs. 

“One thing we need to continue to work out throughout this week going into our series versus Northwestern State is to do a better job at moving,” Amundson said “And scoring runners at a higher percentage and to close the door when we are ahead of our opponents.”
The Racers continue play next weekend against Northwestern State in a three game set in Natchitoches, Louisiana.