Racers target OVC tournament title on Thursday

Softball | 05/11/2022 23:00:00

Date hour): May 12 (12:30 p.m.)
Opponent: #5 Southeast Missouri
Location (Location): Oxford, Alabama (Choccolocco Park)
TV: ESPN+ (PxP: Graham Doty; Analyst: Donna Conrad)
Live statistics: GoRacers.com
In-game Twitter: @RacersSoftball
MUR registration (serial): 37-15-1 (Won 1)
SEMO registration (serial): 28-22 (Won 4)
Last part WALL: W 5-2 (May 8, 2022; Murray, Ky.)
Last part SEMO: F 9-1 [5] vs. SIUE (May 11, 2022; Oxford, Alabama)
All-time streak against SEMO (Streak): MUR leads 18-14 (lost 1)
All-Time Series in OVC Tournament (Streak): First meeting
First meeting: L 2-4 (April 17, 2010; Murray, Ky.)
Last meeting: L 2-5 (April 24, 2022; Murray, Ky.)
Last 5 vs. SEMO: 2-3 (LWWLL)
Last 10 against SEMO: 3-7 (LWWLLLLWLL)
next game: May 12 c. TTU (5:30 p.m.) OR May 13 vs BEL/UTM (1:30 p.m.)

In a word
The 2022 OVC regular season champion Murray State softball team begins its quest for its first-ever regional NCAA appearance on Thursday at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, Alabama. The first of the top-ranked runners is the fifth-seeded Southeastern Missouri at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN+. The Redhawks won their tournament opener on Wednesday, beating eighth-seeded SIUE 9-1 in five sets.

All-time series at a glance
The Racers lead Southeast Missouri in the all-time series 18-14, having taken two of three from the Redhawks last month in Murray. Thursday will be the first-ever meeting between Murray State and SEMO in the OVC tournament.

Scouting the Redhawks
The Redhawks are 28-22 overall this season and finished fourth in the OVC after sweeping Belmont the final weekend of the regular season.

Offensively, SEMO is currently batting .280 on the year, while their opponents are hitting .242. In the circle, the Redhawks have a 3.46 ERA, while their opponents have limited them to a 4.29 ERA. Additionally, Southeast Missouri pitchers this season are dishing out 6.35 strikeouts per seven innings and have a 2.3:1 strikeout ratio.

Individually, Rachel Rook leads the way for the Redhawks in the circle with a 2.68 ERA, an 18-9 record, two shutouts, 203 strikeouts and 53 walks. At plate, Kaylee Anderson leads SEMO with a .770 batting average to go along with team highs of 51 hits, 35 runs, 10 homers and 17 walks.

A winning Thursday would be…
A win on Thursday would give Murray State its first OVC Tournament win since losing to UT Martin on May 13, 2016.

The Murray State Racers captured their first-ever OVC regular season title on Sunday with a 5-2 win over Morehead State. This is the first championship for 10and– season captain Kara Amundson and also the first in the program’s 13-year history.

Return script
With an overall record of 37-15-1, the Racers had one of the best softball turnovers in Division I. After finishing 22-29 last season, Murray State saw a 29-game improvement in 2022. Penn State currently has the best turnover this season at +38, followed by Boise State at +32. South Dakota is currently tied with the Racers at +29, while Louisiana Tech and Georgia Tech follow at +28 and New Mexico rounds out the top five turnovers at +26.

A record harvest
On Tuesday, the Racer softball team won one of the most impressive postseason awards in any sport in school history. Hannah James and head coach Kara Amundson paved the way for Murray State by being named Pitcher of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively. James was then joined by Gracie Osbron and Logan Braundmeier in the All-OVC first team, while taylor jackson, Sierra Gilmore, Lily Fischer and Jenna Veber were named to the second team. Osbron rounded out the awards for MSU by also being named to the OVC All-Newcomer team.

elite launch
Racer’s pitching team has proven to be not only the best in the OVC, but one of the best in the nation this season. MSU is currently fifth nationally in the ERA at 1.59, fourth in shutouts with 19, second in batters with just nine and seventh in strikeouts.

The dynamic duo

Hannah James and Jenna Veber have combined to be one of the best 1-2 punches in the country this season. Individually, James has the 11and best ERA in the country this season at 1.25, while Veber is 23rd at 1.53. Currently, the Racers are just one of four Division I programs that have multiple pitchers in the ERA’s top 25, along with Oklahoma, UCLA and UMBC.

Double your pleasure
Already the school record holder in a doubles season at 24, Logan Braundmeier only needs one more to tie the OVC’s single-season record of 25 and five to tie the NCAA DI’s record of 29.

Take 21 for the team

Lily Fischer tied Ellyn Troup’s school record of being hit by a pitch 21 times in a season, Sunday against Morehead State. Fischer was the second-most hit of any player in the nation this season and is the fifth-highest hit per pitcher per game at 0.40.

And after
The Racers’ next outing will be determined by their performance against Southeast Missouri on Thursday afternoon. Win and MSU’s next game is Friday at 1:30 p.m. against two-seeded Belmont or three-seeded UT Martin. Lose and the Racers return to Choccolocco Park Thursday night to take on sixth-seeded Tennessee Tech at 5:30 p.m. All 13 games of the 2022 OVC Softball Championship will be broadcast live on ESPN+.