Story by Mark McFarland, Sports Editor
Despite sitting in eighth place and two spots out of the OVC Tournament, softball Head Coach Kara Amundson said that she is confident her team can make the tournament, even after having a tough weekend.
The Racers welcomed Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State last weekend in two of the last four conferences series of the season. Jacksonville State came into the weekend undefeated in conference play. Amundson said despite the loss, she was proud of her team for playing tough.
“We always compete when we are playing ‘better’ competition,” Amundson said.
The first game against Jacksonville State Sunday started with a walk, an error and three runs, which Amundson said is something the team doesn’t do.
“We came out and had an error right away, a walk and a base hit,” Amundson said. “That kind of stuff can start to boil over if you don’t step up a little bit.”
Amundson also said she was proud of her offense, even though they struggled all weekend. She said she was happy to see them try and get runners across to score.
The Racers struggled to get runs across in the two doubleheaders, and they could only score 13 runs in the span of the four games. Murray State left a combined 36 runners on base during the weekend.
“We leave so many runners on base it’s almost sickening,” Amundson said. “Even this past weekend, I think we left double digit runners on in three of our four games, which just can’t happen.”
The team has four seniors on the team who Amundson said deserve the chance to play in the OVC Tournament in their final season.
“They’ve been incredible,” Amundson said. “I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I want to say they are probably one of, if not the, winningest class to come through here, which is kind of a big deal and they can all hang their hats on.”
Amundson said they played different roles during their time at Murray State.
“They were all huge contributors in their own way,” Amundson said. “Any time you have a group of kids that want to fight until the end, it’s kind of a big deal. They are all in it, fighting tooth and nail, to make sure we get in the conference tournament their last year, and I really hope we can pull it out for them.”
With the conference tournament coming up May 11-14, the team is two spots out of the final position in the field. Amundson said the team needs to make sure they control their own destiny when it comes to getting into the tournament.
“If we can come out and win some games in these next couple conference series, we need to make sure the fate is in our hands, not in somebody else’s,” Amundson said. “The only way we can really do that is to go win.”
The Racers host UT Martin this weekend and will travel to Austin Peay State for the final conference series of the year.