Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
Murray State took three of four games last weekend against both Tennessee State and Belmont.
The Racers moved to 7-7 in the OVC and sit in sixth place in the conference heading into a three-game series against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville this weekend at Racer Field. Head Coach Kara Amundson said the team is playing really well and they are putting it together at the right time.
“I think we are just trying to keep things simple,” Amundson said. “At different times throughout the year, we were trying to make situations a lot bigger than they needed to be.”
The Salukis defeated the Racers 2-0 Wednesday night. The Racers are now 17-21 overall and the Salukis are 24-12.
The Racers finished with three hits while the Salukis had four hits, two runs and one RBI.
Senior infielder Shelbey Miller had two of the three hits, and sophomore outfielder Maddy Fenney took the third hit.
The Racers defeated Belmont 4-1 and 4-0 in their doubleheader Sunday.
Murray State rattled off eight hits in the first game and were led by Miller, who finished the game going 2-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Feeney came in with a 2-3 game to add to the hit total.
In the second game of the series, Murray State continued where it left off in the first game by adding 11 hits to its total on the day and winning 4-0.
The Racers scored all four runs in the first two innings, and it was enough for sophomore pitcher Haven Campbell to earn her fifth win of the season. She pitched seven innings of shutout, giving up five hits and two walks. Amundson said she was proud of her team, after losing the second game against Tennessee State, for coming back on Sunday and winning both games.
TENNESSEE STATE SERIES
The Racers had 13 hits in the 7-2 first game victory over Tennessee State Saturday in Nashville.
Junior infielder Maggie Glass finished the game by going 3-3 with two RBIs and a walk. Junior infielder Jessica Twaddle followed Glass with a 2-4 performance and two RBIs. Amundson said she was impressed with how Glass contributed this weekend as she had been struggling earlier in the season.
“Maggie Glass had a heck of a week,” Amundson said. “She had been somebody that had been struggling for us to start this year, and she just kind of settled in and took what pitchers were giving her and just putting balls in play for us.”
Murray State lost to the Lady Tigers 5-4 despite coming away with 11 hits in the game.
The Racers scored two runs in the first inning but gave up one run in the bottom half to take a one-run lead early in the game. In the fourth inning, Murray State scored another run only to give one more up in the Lady Tigers’ half of the inning. Tennessee State and the Racers did the same in the fifth inning setting the score 4-3 with Murray State leading.
The Lady Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the game off a walk-off double.
Murray State was led offensively by Miller, who went 2-4 with a double and two stolen bases, followed by Feeney who turned in a 2-3 effort and a stolen base of her own. Amundson said the hitting for the Racers has really come on in the last couple weeks, which has led to better team performances.
“Offensively, we kind of settled in a little bit,” Amundson said.
Amundson said pitching and defense need to continue to get better as the team makes the push to get into the OVC Tournament.
“We haven’t been playing the ‘best’ in conference, Amundson said. “We’ve talked about just get us to the tournament and it’s a whole clean slate.”