Softball win 4 at home invitational


Senior right hander Hannah James winds up to pitch against Ball State on Friday, Feb. 24. Photo by Rebeca Mertins Chiodini/The News.

Ronan Summers, Staff Writer

The Racers’ record improved to 8-6 on the season after going 4-1 throughout the inaugural Velvet Milkman Invitational. 

Ball State University, Miami University, Loyola University Chicago and Bellarmine University all traveled to Murray to compete in the invitational held at Racer Field. This was Murray State’s third invitational of the season. Two more will be played before the Racers jump into their conference schedule.

Murray State started the invitational off by facing the Ball State Cardinals on Friday, Feb. 24. The Racers picked up a 4-3 win over the Cardinals in a narrowly contested game. 

Ball State got on the board first after a double drove in a runner to give the team a 1-0 lead as the game went into the bottom of the first inning. The Racers were able to respond, though, after three Murray State batters were hit by a pitch in the first inning. 

Sophomore infielder Erin Lackey was one of the three batters hit by a pitch. She scored after redshirt junior infielder Lily Fischer was hit by a pitch. Junior utility player Saxon Radcliffe grounded into a double play, but redshirt senior infielder Gracie Osbron was able to score to set the score 2-1 after the first inning.

Ball State was able to tie things up in the second inning after a sacrifice flyout to left field drove in a Cardinal runner coming from third base. The game remained tied 2-2 until the fifth inning, where Fischer hit a double to drive in freshman utility player Adison Hicks and freshman outfielder Bailey Broemmer to give the Racers a 4-2 lead. 

The Cardinals scored once more making the final score 4-3 in favor of the Racers. Ball State had 10 hits to Murray State’s four. Redshirt junior pitcher Jenna Veber received the win for the Racers. She  struck one batter out in 2.2 innings pitched. Redshirt senior pitcher Hannah James started for the Racers. She struck five batters out and gave up two runs in 4.1 innings pitched. 

Fischer had a hit in her two at-bats, driving in three runs. Osbron, Hicks and Broemmer also all had a hit. 

The second game of the invitational for Murray State came against the Miami University Redhawks. The Redhawks are back-to-back Mid-American Conference winners, and they showed why they’ve had success in the game on Friday, Feb. 24. 

The Redhawks scored three runs in the first, two runs in the third, three runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh inning to coast to a 12-3 win over the Racers. Murray State’s starter for the matchup, freshman pitcher Bre Haislip, received the loss after allowing four earned runs, five hits, three walks and three strikeouts in 2.2 innings pitched. 

Osbron and Hicks had a pair of hits and a run each. Osbron also had an RBI. Lackey recorded a hit and a walk and scored a run. Radcliffe led Murray State in RBIs with three. Racers batters had eight hits, struck out 10 times and left seven batters on base in their loss to the Redhawks. 

The Racers faced off against the Ball State Cardinals on Saturday, Feb. 25. The second meeting between the two teams resulted in less scoring. The lone run of the game came after redshirt senior Lindsey Carroll got on base on a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning. 

Carroll’s ability to put the ball in play drove in Osbron, who was on third base at the time, to give the Racers everything they needed. Neither team was able to score after the fourth inning, leading to a 1-0 Racers win.

This was the Racers’ first shutout of the season. Haislip received the win, striking out four batters and allowing five hits in 4.1 innings pitched. James pitched 2.2 innings, striking out six batters.

Osbron had two hits and a run in three at-bats. Fischer, Carroll, Radcliffe and Broemmer each had a hit in the game. As a team, the Racers had more hits (six) than strikeouts (five). 

Murray State’s pitching was the story of Saturday, as the team shut out its second opponent of the day. The Racers faced off against Loyola Chicago in their second game of the day. 

The only runs scored in the game came in the sixth inning, when junior catcher Taylor Jackson hit a two-run home run. Jackson drove freshman infielder Ailey Schyck in to give the Racers a 2-0 lead. 

Jackson’s home run ended up being the only runs scored, and Murray State defeated Loyola Chicago 2-0. 

Veber pitched all seven innings and received the win for her efforts. She allowed five hits and did not walk a single batter throughout her complete game.

Lackey recorded two hits in the win. Hicks, Osbron, Radcliffe, Carroll, Jackson and Broemmer each had a hit in the game. As a team, the Racers did not strike out once. 

The final game of the invitational was on Sunday, Feb. 26 when the Racers faced off against the Bellarmine Knights. 

Murray State got on the board first after Osbron drove Hicks in off a double to center field in the third inning. Haislip then hit a double in the fifth inning, driving in three Racers to boost their lead to 4-0. Bellarmine retaliated with a two-run home run in the sixth inning, but the Knights couldn’t score enough runs and fell to the Racers 4-2. 

Hicks accounted for two of the Racers’ four runs as she recorded a hit and a walk after stepping into the batter’s box three times. Osbron had two hits in three at-bats, driving in one RBI. Haislip’s only at-bat ended up being the difference maker. She finished the game with 3 RBIs. 

The Racers will travel to Starkville, Mississippi, to compete in the 2023 Alex Wilcox Memorial Tournament starting on Friday, March 3. Murray State plays Dartmouth University at 10 a.m. on Friday. They will then play Abilene Christian at 5:30 p.m. The Racers will play Dartmouth again at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, before playing Mississippi State University at 12:30 p.m. The final game of the tournament will be at 1:20 p.m. on Sunday, March 5. 


[email protected]