Dates: April 12 – 4:00 p.m. (DH) / April 14 – 1:00 p.m. (DH)
Site (Venue): Martin, Tennessee (Bettye Giles Softball Field) / Cape Girardeau, Missouri (Southeast Softball Complex)
Live Video: https://es.pn/2Io3oTj
Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2v5QEsl
MSU Record (Streak): 18-19, 8-2 OVC (W1)
Racers All-Time vs. UTM: 13-16
Racers All-Time vs. SEMO: 15-9
UTM Record (Streak): 25-17, 7-5 OVC (L2)
MSU Next Games: April 19th at Jacksonville State
MSU Next Home: April 23rd vs. North Alabama
The Racers will make two different stops on their road trip this weekend, leaving home for two Ohio Valley Conference doubleheaders in as many days. Murray State will follow a pair of games against UT Martin on Friday with a doubleheader date with SEMO on Sunday. Martin, Tennessee and Cape Girardeau, Missouri will mark the second and third stops as part of an eight-game road trip for Murray State. Now at 18-19 overall with an 8-2 record in the OVC, the Racers find themselves tied with SEMO at the top of the conference standings entering Friday’s competitions.
Last Time Out:
Murray State traveled to Clarksville, Tennessee for a Heritage Bank Battle of the Border doubleheader against Austin Peay on Tuesday afternoon. Earning a split with the Governors over the two games, the Racers fell 4-2 in game one before returning the favor with a 4-2 victory in the second game of the day.
In the circle, Taylor Makowsky notched her sixth win of the year with a spectacular game two performance where she surrendered just two earned runs over her five innings of work. She would also record a pair of strikeouts while allowing just two walks in the ballgame. Ellison Barrett also turned in a pair of crafty relief appearances, as she would not allow an earned run through her five innings of work between the two contests. Her two shutout innings in game two would translate to her first career save in Murray State’s 4-2 victory.
The Racers enter Friday’s competitions batting .266 with 20 home runs through their 37 games in 2019. Murray State reaches base at a .339 clip while averaging 4.14 runs per contest on the year.
Individually, Lillie Goetz is hitting .327 for Murray State while leading her side with 29 RBIs and 12 doubles thus far. Sierra Gilmore has scored 24 runs for the Racers, while Lexi Jones and Madison Culver each have five round-trippers on the year.
In the circle, Murray State carries a team ERA of 3.50 with 161 strikeouts through 249.2 innings this season. Racer pitchers rarely issue a free pass to opposing hitters as they have posted a 1.92 K/BB ratio on the year, which ranks in the top third of programs in the country.
Taylor Makowsky has been brilliant in the circle for the Racers in recent appearances as she enters Friday with a 6-2 record to accompany a 1.70 ERA in 45.1 innings of work. Hitters are managing just a .238 average when Makowsky is dealing, and she has posted 2.5 K/BB ratio on the year.
Hannah James also continues to impress in her freshman campaign as she has earned a team-high nine wins in the circle for the Racers with 10 complete games as part of her 115.1 innings on the year. She carries a 2.55 ERA while holding hitters to a .262 average at the dish, posting an outstanding 3.74 K/BB ratio entering Friday’s doubleheader against UT Martin.
Scouting UT Martin:
UT Martin enters Friday’s doubleheader at 25-15, with a 7-5 record in OVC competition in 2019. The Skyhawks, who look to rebound after dropping a pair of games against SEMO in their last time out, are batting .286 while averaging 4.62 runs per contest on the year. UT Martin excels on the base paths, as they steal bases at a rate that is good for 6th in the country. They do not rely heavily on the home run ball, hitting just 18 on the season, but that has not prevented them from generating scoring opportunities. Paige Clark has sparked the Skyhawk offense with a .438 average while scoring a team-high 28 runs and stealing 26 bases in 2019.
In the circle, the Skyhawks carry a team ERA of 3.11 with a 1.77 K/BB ration entering the weekend. Additionally, opposing hitters are managing a .278 average against Skyhawk arms on the year. The Racers could expect to see Erin Gallagher in the circle on Friday, as she leads her side with a 6-2 record with a 2.44 ERA in 74.2 innings on the season. Her 3.0 K/BB ratio and .248 opponent’s batting average combine for an effective recipe in the circle for UT Martin.
SEMO will take on Austin Peay on Friday before their Sunday meeting with the Racers, and enter the weekend at 30-9 with an 8-2 mark against OVC competition. They had a pair of successful outings in their last bit of action, sweeping UT Martin in a conference doubleheader on Wednesday.
At the plate, the Redhawks are batting .321, which is good for 16th in the nation, with 44 home runs on the year. Their 6.2 runs per game also ranks in the top 25 in country as they have had no problems in the scoring department in 2019. Individually, SEMO is led by Rachel Anderson who is hitting an astonishing .491 with a .931 slugging percentage thanks to her 26 extra-base hits on the year. Additionally, Ashley Ellis fuels a potent Redhawk lineup with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs as SEMO has won five of their last six entering the weekend.
The Racers and Skyhawks have met 29 times in their history, with UT Martin leading the all-time series with a record of 16-13 against Murray State. The Skyhawks have won the last three contests between the two sides after taking both games in their most recent meetings – victories of 4-0 and 3-2 at Racer Field in Murray, Kentucky in 2018.
As for SEMO, the Racers have clashed with the Redhawks 24 times prior to Sunday’s doubleheader. Murray State enters as winners of 15 of the previous encounters, holding the advantage 15-9 in the all-time series. SEMO did get the best of Murray State in their most recent clash, however, as the Racers fell in both games of last year’s doubleheader with scores of 11-8 and 8-7 in home competitions at Racer Field.
First pitch in Martin, Tennessee on Friday should be a mostly sunny 68 degrees with winds blowing to the south at approximately seven miles per hour. Chance of rain: 0%.
For Sunday’s doubleheader in Cape Girardeau, the forecast is calling for scattered thunderstorms with a high of 63 degrees. Winds will blow between five and seven miles per hour. Chance of rain: 50%.