Story by Bryan Edwards, Sports Editor
Murray State’s softball team returned to Racer Field for eight straight games, beginning with a doubleheader against Tennessee Tech.
With both games going into extra innings, the Racers fell in game one 2-3, but were able to split the series with the Golden Eagles with a 3-2 victory in game two.
Head Coach Kara Amundson said the team put themselves in a position to win both games but couldn’t close the deal.
“We put ourselves in a good position in both games but we couldn’t close the door in one of them and walked out with a split,” Amundson said. “We tried to battle back in the game but we just couldn’t climb back into it. We only got one run in the first game but that should have been enough for us to take the game.”
Amundson said the second game could’ve gone the same way but was happy that her team finished the job.
“The second game could’ve gone a completely different way for us because of what happened to us in the first game,” Amundson said. “We stayed competitive and relentless and took the game. Tennessee Tech was ahead of us in the standings coming into the weekend, so splitting with them helped us keep our place and keep us going in the right direction moving forward.”
The Racers opened the scoring between the two teams in the fifth inning when freshman infielder Lexi Jones was thrown out going into second base, but scored senior infielder Cayla Levins in the process to put Murray State up 1-0.
The Golden Eagles evened the score 1-1 in the seventh inning thanks to an RBI double by junior utility player Callen Griffin.
Tennessee Tech scored two runs in the eighth inning and held the Racers’ rally short to steal game one of the doubleheader.
Senior pitcher Mason Robinson pitched 7.1 innings, allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out four in her outing. Robinson is one win away from tying the record for most wins in a single season.
The Racers finished the game with six hits, three of which came from junior infielder Erika Downey. Downey went 3-for-3 in the game, and was the only player with more than one hit for Murray State.
Amundson said Downey played well but also complimented the bottom half of the batting order for playing consistently.
“You’re mainly looking at the middle of the batting order to find your big hitters, but I don’t think that’s true with our lineup at all this year,” Amundson said. “Our bottom half of the lineup is capable to help out by getting hits and turning over our lineup to our leadoff hitters.”
Murray State began the second game with an early run in the first inning thanks to an RBI single by senior catcher Jocelynn Rodgers.
The Racers scored another run in the fifth inning to take a 2-0 lead heading into the final inning. Tennessee Tech rallied in the seventh inning to tie the game 2-2, sending the second contest to extra innings.
Senior infielder Jessica Twaddle opened the eighth inning with a lead-off single. Following a single by Rodgers that advanced Twaddle to third, a sacrifice fly to left field by sophomore infielder Madison Culver scored Twaddle for the walk-off victory.
The Racers stay at home and play four games over the weekend, beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 at Racer Field against Tennessee State.