The Murray State softball team swept a doubleheader with Western Illinois Wednesday at Racer Field to push its current win streak to 11 games with a 2-1 win in game one and a 5-1 victory in game two. The 11-game win streak now stands as the longest in program history and improves the Racers’ overall record to 22-4 on the year.
Game 1 – Murray St. 2, Western Ill. 1
The scoring in game one began on an error by Murray State that allowed Western Illinois pitcher Emily Ira to reach base safely and advance to second in the third inning. After being sacrificed to third by Sam Ralphs, Ira made it 1-0 Leathernecks by scoring on a single from Rachel Beatty.
In the fifth, Maggie Glass led off the frame with a single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice by Cayla Levins. Kaylee Ranburger then moved Glass to third on a bunt single, before she finally scored on a single from Erika Downey to tie game at one.
With the game still tied at one in the bottom of the seventh, Cayla Levins doubled to begin the inning to give her team a chance at the win. Two batters later, Levins scored the game-winning run on another RBI-single from Downey to give MSU its 10th consecutive win.
Downey was one of eight Racers that combined for nine hits in the game and led her team with two, to go along with two RBIs. Mason Robinson picked up her 14th win of the year in the circle in the contest by allowing no earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks over a full seven innings of work.
Game 5 – Murray St. 5, Western Ill. 1
In game two, it was the Racers that struck first, as Jessica Twaddle gave her team an early 1-0 lead in the opening stanza on a solo shot to center field, her fifth home run of the year. However, in the third, WIU answered with a solo home run of their own from Holly Hoelting to even the game at one.
In the fourth, Murray State exploded offensively by scoring four runs on five hits and one Leatherneck error. Lexi Jones, Glass and Levins all drove in runs in the frame, while Kristen Bialek, Twaddle, Glass, Levins and Ranburger all tallied hits.
With a healthy 5-1 lead, starting pitcher Haven Campbell and reliever Amber Van Duyse were able to help the Racers clamp down defensively and hold on for the win.
Twaddle and Levins were each 2-for-3 with a RBI in the game, while Twaddle also scored two runs. Campbell got the win by surrendering just one run on seven hits with a career-high eight strikeouts over six innings to move to 8-2 on the season. Van Duyse finished the game by allowing just one hit over one full inning.
Murray State returns to action Saturday when it travels to sunny California for2017 Matador Classic hosted by Cal State Northridge. While in SoCal, the Racers will take on Bryant, Weber State, Quinnipiac and the host Matadors.
by Parker Griffith