Osbron earns Player of the Week honors


Redshirt senior Gracie Osbron prepares to field a ground ball during the Wildcat Invitational. Photo courtesy of Justine Ertl/Racer Athletics.

Ronan Summers, Staff Writer

Softball season has just begun, and Murray State’s redshirt senior infielder Gracie Osbron already is turning heads.

The first MVC Player of the Week award of 2023 was given to Osbron after she dominated the 2023 Wildcat Invitational. She finished the weekend going 8 for 15 at the plate, recording two runs, seven RBIs and a home run in five games.

Osbron is one of 12 players in the MVC named to the 2023 preseason All-MVC softball team. She finished the 2022 season batting .361 and with 38 runs and nine home runs while posting a .970 fielding percentage. 

Murray State is coming off the best season in program history and looks to carry that momentum over to this season. Starting the new season with a handful of wins is a good way to do that.

The Racers traveled to Abilene, Texas, to compete against a trio of teams in a five-game span over the weekend. The first day of the 2023 Wildcat Invitational on Friday, Feb. 10 did not go the way the Racers had hoped.

The first game of the tournament came against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders. The Islanders only gave up a single hit to the Racers. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi struck Murray State batters out 10 times while Racers redshirt junior pitcher Jenna Veber struck seven Islander batters out. 

Veber earned the loss after allowing four hits and a run in the matchup. The lone score for the Islanders came from a single drive in a runner on base in the fifth inning. This led to the first meeting ending 1-0 in favor of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

The second Friday game was against the University of Texas at El Paso Miners. UTEP won the matchup 3-0 after scoring twice in the third inning and then once more in the fifth. The Miners finished the game allowing three hits to their five. Of those three hits, Osbron hit two of them. 

Redshirt senior pitcher Hannah James ended up with the loss for the Racers, as she allowed all of the Miners’ hits and runs in five innings. She also struck out two Miners batters. Freshman pitcher Bre Haislip pitched for two innings, striking one batter out and not allowing a hit or run.

After being held scoreless in two games on Friday, the bats came ready on Saturday, Feb. 11. as the Racers had a chance to redeem themselves against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders. Murray State was able to get on the board this time around, ultimately winning the game 5-1. 

The Racers’ bats were hot as they finished the game with a total of 10 hits. Freshman utility player Adison Hicks, sophomore infielder Erin Lackey and redshirt senior infielder Lindsey Carroll all finished with two hits. 

James had 10 strikeouts in four innings pitched. She did not allow a hit or run in those four innings. Haislip struck two batters out while allowing four hits and a run in three innings. 

The second Saturday game was a shootout against the Abilene Christian Wildcats that went into extra innings. There wasn’t much of a defensive presence on either side, as the Wildcats won the game 13-12. Osbron had herself a day going 4 for 4 with two runs and five RBIs. The Racers earned 16 hits and five walks, leaving an astounding 11 players on base. 

Murray State’s pitching struggled against the Wildcats. The Racers had to place four different pitchers on the mound to get through the eight-inning contest. 

The final game came on Sunday, Feb. 12 in a rematch against the UTEP Miners. The Racers jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning before the Miners’ bats began heating up. Murray State was able to hold off UTEP and win 7-6.

The Racers finished with eight hits and five walks. Veber got the win for the Racers, allowing eight hits, two earned runs and a walk in four innings. Haislip pitched the other three innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs. She also struck out four batters.

Osbron led the way for the Racers over the weekend, but Lackey had a good invitational too. She finished the weekend with seven hits and three runs. She has a .467 batting average. Carroll finished the weekend with a team-high five runs and a .286 batting average. 

Murray State travel to Troy, Alabama, on Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 to play in the 2023 Trojan Classic. They will play a total of four games against two teams. 

Murray State plays the Kennesaw State University Owls, who currently sport a 1-1 record, at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17. The Racers will then play the Troy University Trojans on the same day at 5 p.m. The Trojans are 2-2 on the season.

Kennesaw State and Murray State will play once more at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 to start the second day of the classic. The Racers will wrap the weekend up by playing the Trojans again at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18.


[email protected]