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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Softball comes out ahead in series against UT Martin

Senior outfielder/utility player Logan Braundmeier hit her second home run of the year in the second game against UT Martin. (Photo courtesy of Dan Hasko/Racer Athletics)

Simon Elfrink

Sports Editor

[email protected]

Murray State softball opened up conference play with a three-game series against UT Martin, in which the Racers went 2-1 against the Skyhawks. 

Game One

The first game of the series began on Friday, March 5. The Racers started junior right-handed pitcher Hannah James, who went 2.2 innings on the rubber before handing the ball off to sophomore right-hander Jenna Veber. With one out left to get in the bottom of the sixth, Veber surrendered the circle to redshirt senior righty Taylor Makowsky. James and Veber allowed three and seven runs across, respectively, but only two were earned for James and four earned for Veber. James struck out two batters while Veber earned one. None of the Racers’ pitchers walked or hit a batter.

The Skyhawks’ offense was a force to be reckoned with in the first game. Unfortunately for Murray State, the Racers’ bats couldn’t keep up. However, the Racers were the first ones to make a mark on the scoreboard, chalking up a run in the top of the third inning after sophomore utility player Chloe Jacque hit an infield single to the left side. Jacque stole second base an at-bat later, putting a runner in scoring position for senior outfielder Jensen Striegel, who delivered with a single to center field, making the score 1-0. 

The lead was short-lived, as a leadoff double from Skyhawks’ freshman infielder Macey Neal gave UT Martin the chance to get an equalizing hit. A base-hit bunt by freshman infielder Kaci Fuller advanced Neal to third, and after Fuller stole second, two runners were apt to score on a base hit. Sophomore infielder Chelsey Gore put a ball in play with a bunt and a throwing error scored both runners, giving the Skyhawks a 2-1 lead. 

UT Martin continued to pour it on in the third. By the time the Racers collected the last out of the inning, the score was 4-1. The Skyhawks tacked on another two in the fourth to make for a five-run deficit for the Racers to overcome. 

With six outs separating them from loss, the Racers led off the sixth inning with a single by sophomore infielder Lily Fischer. Senior infielder Sierra Gilmore followed up with a double in the right-center gap, putting runners on second and third for junior utility Lindsey Carroll. Carroll drove Fischer home with a single to left-center, allowing Gilmore to advance to third. A sacrifice grounder to shortstop scored Gilmore, and a single off the bat of freshman catcher Taylor Jackson scored Carroll, making the score 6-4 still in favor of the Skyhawks. 

The Racer’s run ended there as the Skyhawks continued to put up another crooked number in the sixth, finishing the game with a 10-4 win over the Racers. 

Game Two

Both teams returned to the field on Saturday, March 6, at 1 p.m. for the second game of the series. The Racers were the first ones on the board again thanks to a solo shot off the bat of senior outfielder/utility player Logan Braundmeier. Both teams had quiet bats for the most part throughout the rest of the game with neither team putting up another run until the seventh inning. It was Braundmeier who found herself in the midst of the scoring once again by drawing a walk and advancing to third on a stolen base and a throwing error. Striegel put a ball deep in the air to center field, serving as a sacrifice fly to get Braundmeier home. Back-to-back doubles from Fischer and Gilmore provided another run for the Racers, who walked away with a 3-0 victory. 

Makowsky got the win in the circle for the Racers, pitching through the first 6.1 innings and striking out three batters. Makowsky did allow nine hits and a pair of walks in that time, but she and the Racers’ defense got outs when they needed them. Veber closed out the last two outs of the game for the Racers. 

Game Three

The Racers finished the three-game series with the second game of a double header on Saturday, March 6. The Racers’ pitching staff held the Skyhawks to just three runs, two allowed in the first two innings by Veber and one by James, who came in to pitch at the start of the third inning. 

The Racers’ bats stole the show in the final game of the weekend. At first, scoring came quickly but lightly for the Racers as they only managed to squeeze one run across after Braundmeier singled to lead off the first and was later driven in by Fischer. 

UT Martin answered with one run in the bottom of the second to tie things up 1-1, but the Skyhawks were not prepared for what the Racers had in store for the third inning. 

The top of the third resembled the opening inning for the Racers with Braundmeier leading off with a single to right field. Striegel followed with a single of her own and the bases were loaded after Fischer was hit by a pitch. 

Gilmore drove the first run of the inning in with a single through the left side, and Carroll followed her with a two-RBI single to center field. From then on it was one hit and one run after another for the Racers, who didn’t give the scoreboard a rest until they scored nine runs in the inning to make the score 10-1. 

Veber allowed the Skyhawks to score again on a wild pitch in the third, but the Skyhawks were unable to capitalize and never dug themselves out of the massive deficit. The game ended in an overwhelming 10-3 victory for the Racers. 

The Racers will continue OVC play with a three-game series against Eastern Kentucky University on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15.

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