Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
The Racers played a four game series against two teams in Jacksonville, Florida last weekend and came away with a 2-2 record.
The other teams were Ball State and host Jacksonville. Murray State lost to each team once and beat each team once as it record moved to 8-10 on the season.
Head Coach Kara Amundson said in order for the team to get better, they have to continue to get better every time they step onto the field.
“Whether that means winning or losing, that part to me doesn’t really matter right now. Of course, I always have to win I’m super competitive and I don’t really like to lose, but in the scope of big picture, if we can continue to get better as a team and execute better as a team, then we are going to be in a pretty good spot,” Amundson said.
The Racers’ first game against the Dolphins ended in a 4-2 loss on Saturday.
Jacksonville jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after a stolen base, an error and a sacrifice fly.
Murray State was held scoreless until the third inning when they were able to tie the game at two behind a single from junior infielder Jessica Twaddle. The two runs scored on the play, but neither run was earned because of two errors earlier in the inning.
The Dolphins scored a run in each of the third and fourth innings, which was enough to push them past the Racers 4-2.
Twaddle went 1-4 on the day and had to two lone RBIs for Murray State.
Both the Racers and the Dolphins combined for 17 hits in game two as Murray State mercy-ruled Jacksonville 9-1 in five innings.
Senior infielder Shelbey Miller led the Racers by going 2-3 with four RBIs and a walk. Sophomore pitcher Haven Campbell went three innings giving up four hits, zero runs and hit one batter. Senior pitcher J.J. Francis went two innings giving up four hits, one earned run and walked two batters in relief of Campbell.
The Racers finished the game with nine hits, nine runs and zero errors in the winning effort to split the series between the Dolphins.
The Racers started out the weekend with a 6-1 win over the Ball State Cardinals.
The Cardinals scored in the top of the first inning off of an illegal pitch from junior pitcher Mason Robinson. However, Robinson bounced back and pitched seven innings, letting up one run on six hits and zero walks. Robinson also struck out four Ball State batters.
The Racers had seven hits and one error in the win over the Cardinals. Junior outfielder Mallory Young led Murray State going 2-3 with one RBI and was followed by Miller who went 1-3 with an RBI.
Ball State battled from a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning when the Cardinals scored eight runs.
Murray State committed two errors in the game and gave up seven hits. Haven started the game and went five innings, giving up four hits and three earned runs. She also hit a batter and walked four other batters. However, she struck out six Cardinal batters.
Junior infielder Taylor Odom led the Racers by going 2-3 with three RBIs. Junior catcher Jocelynn Rodgers hit 2-4 and finished with an RBI of her own.
The Racers play two games at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday at Racer Field before they head to Southeast Missouri State to open up conference play with a doubleheader on Saturday and one game on Sunday.
Amundson said the tough non-conference schedule should help the team feel prepared for the conference schedule.
“I’ve always kind of had the belief that you’ve got to play the best to be the best,” Amundson said. “We’ve gone through some adversity this year, we’ve had some really good games and some really bad games to be honest with you. I think the best teams are going to learn from that kind of stuff.”