Dates: April 9 – 4:00 p.m. (DH)
Site (Venue): Clarksville, Tenn. (Cheryl Holt Field)
Live Video: None
Live Audio: http://mixlr.com/msuracers/
Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2WSFdQJ
MSU Record (Streak): 17-18, 7-1 OVC (W2)
Racers All-Time vs. APSU: 18-8
APSU Record (Streak): 21-15, 6-2 OVC (L1)
MSU Next Games: April 12 at UT Martin
MSU Next Home: April 23 vs. North Alabama
The Racers journey to Clarksville, Tennessee to take on Austin Peay in a Heritage Bank Battle of the Border doubleheader on Tuesday evening. The Heritage Bank Battle of the Border is an annual rivalry series between these two longtime OVC rivals where points are awarded for each head-to-head regular season competition. This year’s softball doubleheader has a bit of added significance, as the Racers could clinch the 2018-19 Heritage Bank Battle of the Border title with a pair of wins against the Governors on Tuesday evening.
Last Time Out:
The Racers are coming off a doubleheader sweep of Tennessee Tech in their last outing at Racer Field in Murray, Kentucky. With victories of 1-0 and 5-0, Murray State blanked a conference opponent for the second consecutive weekend as they have now held OVC opponents scoreless in the last 29 innings of action.
The Racers saw a pair of outstanding pitching performances from Hannah James and Taylor Makowsky as they each tossed complete game shutouts against the Golden Eagles. James allowed just three hits through her seven innings in game one, while not issuing a single walk in the ballgame. In game two, Makowsky held the Golden Eagles to five hits while walking just one batter on the day as she improved to 5-2 on the year.
At the plate, the Racers were guided by Madison Culver who collected three hits and drove in a pair of runs in Saturday’s victories.
The Racers enter Tuesday’s doubleheader batting .267 with 18 home runs in 2019. Averaging 4.2 runs per contest, Murray State has reached base at a .343 clip through their 35 games on the season. Individually, the Racers are led by Lillie Goetz, who enters Tuesday with a .330 average and a team-high 27 RBIs on the year. Her .546 slugging percentage and .449 on-base percentage also leads the Racers. Sierra Gilmore has scored 24 runs for Murray State this season, while Madison Culver has belted five round-trippers thus far.
In the circle, Murray State carries a 3.58 ERA, while their 1.99 K/BB ratio ranks in the top third of NCAA Division I program across the nation. The Racers have been fueled by the duo of Hannah James and Taylor Makowsky as both have turned in impressive numbers in their first season in a Racer uniform. James has earned a team-high nine wins as she carries a 2.49 ERA with ten complete game appearances in 2019. She has fanned 86 batters while walking just 22 in 112.1 innings of work on the year. Makowsky enters Tuesday’s competitions with a 5-2 record, while posting a 1.56 ERA through 40.1 innings in 2019. In those innings, she has recorded 33 strikeouts while walking just 12 batters and holding opposing hitters to a .224 average at the plate.
Scouting Austin Peay:
The Governors have posted impressive numbers at the dish to this point in the season. Their 1.33 home runs per game ranks 15th in the nation, while they are batting .284 as a team. Averaging 5.08 runs per contest, Austin Peay is guided by Carly Mattson (.360, 9 HR, 25 RBI) and Danielle Liermann, who leads her side with 13 home runs and 28 RBIs on the year.
In the circle, the Governors carry a 2.74 ERA, while holding their opponents to 3.19 runs per contest in 2019. Additionally, their 3.14 K/BB ratio ranks 23rd in the country. The Racers could expect to see Morgan Rackel in the circle on Tuesday, as she enters with a 2.17 ERA and a 15-5 record in 2019. Her 5.8 K/BB ratio ranks 21st in the nation, while she has recorded 145 strikeouts in 125.2 innings on the season.
The Racers and Governors have met 26 times in their history, with Murray State entering Tuesday’s doubleheader as winners of 18 of the prior encounters. Austin Peay has won the last three contests between the two sides, however, after they earned wins of 8-6 and 6-0 at Racer Field last season in the most recent meetings.
It looks to be a gorgeous evening for softball in Clarksville, Tennessee. The forecast for Tuesday’s first pitch is calling for a sunny 75 degrees with winds to the north at 10-12 miles per hour. Chance of rain: 0%
Dan Hasko – Media Relations (SB, Soc, Ten) – Murray State University