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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Softball starts 2021 going 1-3 at Southern Mississippi Tournament

Junior infielder Lindsey Carroll attempts to turn a double play against University of North Dakota. (Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics)

Jakob Milani

Staff Writer

[email protected]

Softball season is underway as the Murray State softball team kicked their season off in the Southern Mississippi tournament on Feb. 13 and 14.

The Racers lost three of their four games in the tournament over the weekend, including two losses to Southern Illinois University and another loss to University of Southern Mississippi.

Game One

The Racers started the weekend against the Southern Illinois University Salukis, a game  they lost 3-1. Junior right-hander Hannah James got the start on the mound for Murray State and struggled early, walking the first batter and allowing a hit from freshman right fielder Bailey Caylor in  the first inning. However, the Salukis weren’t able to score until the fifth inning when graduate student Maddy Vermejan scored on a fielding error that also allowed for Caylor to reach first. The Salukis scored again the next at-bat when senior first-basemen Jenny Jansen doubled and brought Caylor home to take a 2-0 lead.

Sophomore Sarah Harness was the starting pitcher for the Salukis and pitched well through the first three innings, allowing just three batters to reach base, two of which she walked and the other she hit on a wild pitch. After a three-strikeout fifth inning, trouble struck in the sixth when the Racers finally put a run on the scoreboard. Freshman catcher Taylor Jackson, brought in to pinch hit, singled to bring in senior center fielder Jensen Striegel. However, the Salukis scored once more in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 3-1 lead. The Racers were unable to rally in the seventh and the Salukis walked away victorious by a score of 3-1.

Game Two

The Racers looked to go 1-1 on the day as they played the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles later. Sophomore left-hander Jenna Veber started for the Racers in the game and struggled early on. Senior second-basemen Alyssa Davis scored for the Golden Eagles in the second inning when freshman Maria Smith reached first on an error committed by Veber, giving the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead. The Golden Eagles scored again in the fourth inning when sophomore third-basemen Maddie Vasquez grounded out to first base, allowing sophomore pinch-runner Columbia Holeman to score and give the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead.

The Racers didn’t back down, though, as they attempted to make a comeback late in the game. With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning, sophomore outfielder Tyler Shemwell singled to right field to bring in senior second-basemen Lindsey Carroll and make the score 2-1. The Racers were unable to pull off the comeback, though,  as two of the three batters in the seventh went down on strikes and the other lined out to third to end the game.

Game Three

The Racers picked back up on Sunday, Feb. 14, when they played the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The starting pitchers for both teams went to work, holding each other scoreless until the Fighting Hawks broke the tie in the top of the sixth inning. James, the starter for Murray State in the game, walked senior third-basemen Jailene Carpio on a 3-2 count, and freshman infielder Caitlyn Schumaker was brought in as a pinch runner. Schumacher proceeded to steal second, then advance to third on a wild pitch before scoring off of another wild pitch, giving the Fighting Hawks a 1-0 lead.

The Fighting Hawks starting pitcher, graduate right-hander Adrianna Dilal was then tasked with defending the lead in the bottom of the sixth, but the Racers quickly made a move. On a 2-0 count, senior shortstop Sierra Gilmore hit the first home run this season to left field, tying the game at 1-1. The Racers didn’t stop there as they scored eight more runs in the inning, including a single from Gilmore that brought in senior right fielder Logan Braundmeirer and sophomore left fielder Chloe Jacque, giving the Racers an 8-1 lead. When all was said and done, the Racers walked away victorious, beating the Fighting Hawks by a score of 9-1.

Game Four

The Racers ended the weekend by playing Southern Illinois University in hopes of splitting their series. Those hopes were quickly shot down as sophomore right fielder Tori Schullian hit a double into right field off of Veber in the second inning to bring home sophomore outfielder Aubree Deprom who was in to pinch run, giving the Salukis a 1-0 lead. Veber continued to struggle in the fifth inning when freshman left fielder Elizabeth Warwick singled to left field, bringing in Vermejan to make the score 2-0.

The Salukis continued their offensive efforts in the sixth inning, where they scored three more runs. One of those runs came when Schullian doubled to left-center, bringing in junior third-basemen Sidney Sikes off of an error committed byGilmore at shortstop, making the score 3-0. Schullian struck again in the seventh inning when she singled to center off of relief pitcher freshman Kamryn Carcich to bring in graduate Katelyn Massa to go up 6-0. The Racers weren’t able to get anything going in the bottom of the seventh, allowing the Salukis to take the victory by a score of 6-0.

Murray State drops three of their first four games to start the season 1-3. The Racers pick back up next weekend when they go to play in the South Alabama Tournament from Friday, Feb. 19, to Saturday, Feb. 20.

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