Date: 26 Feb (2: 30/5 PM), 27 Feb (9 AM / 12 PM), 28 Feb (11 AM)
Site (Place): Auburn, Alabama (Jane B. Moore Field)
Live Video: SEC Network + (Friday vs. Auburn)
Live Audio: Auburn Sports Network (Friday vs. Auburn)
Direct Coverage Link: goracers.com/coverage
MSU Record (Streak): 2-7 (Lose 1)
All-Time Racer vs. Field: 1-5 (0-4 vs. Auburn, 1-1 vs. Jacksonville, 0-0 vs. IUPUI)
Auburn Record (Streak): 5-1 (Lose 1)
Jacksonville Record (Streak): 3-4 (Win 1)
IUPUI Notes (Streak): 0-0 (-)
Next MSU Games: March 5th at UT Martin (DH)
MSU’s Next Home Game: March 13thth vs. Eastern Kentucky
Murray State softball will travel to Auburn, Alabama for five weekend games at Tiger Invite in its final tune-up before starting the Ohio Valley Conference competition. The Racers will play a doubles leader Friday against Auburn, a doubles leader Saturday against Jacksonville, and a game Sunday against IUPUI at the weekend. Friday’s Dobleheader with Auburn will be broadcast live on the SEC Network + while the game can also be heard on the Auburn Sports Network.
A Look at the Racers:
The Racers (2-7) managed just one win in five chances last weekend at the Jaguar Classic in Mobile, Alabama, with a 1-0 win over hosts Jaguar being the highlight of the trip. The Racers saw a productive weekend on the plate from their second year Lily Fischer, however, that went 7-14 when it reached base on the 0.563 clip through five contests. Sierra Gilmore also had his second home run of the season, which proved to be the difference in the Drivers 1-0 win over South Alabama on Saturday.
In the circle, junior Hannah James recorded 28 strikeouts in just 21.2 rounds of work, while the opponent’s hitter only managed to average 0.184 against him on the weekend when he passes. Haven Campbell (201) now has the only # 4 position on Murray State’s all-time strikeout list with 206 in his Racer career.
Fischer entered the weekend scoring 0.429 of the best team of the season with a percentage of 0.478 on a base through eight games played in the new campaign. Despite his 2-3 record, James carried an impressive 1.66 ERA with 36 strikeouts and held an average of 0.176 hitters to lead Murray State in the circle by 2021.
All Time Series:
Friday’s doubles rider against Auburn will mark the fifth and sixth meetings between the two sides, with Auburn holding a 4-0 lead in the all-time series starting in 2011. The most recent encounter occurred in 2016 when the Tigers emerged victorious. in a 10-0 game at their home in Auburn, Alabama. As for Jacksonville, the Racers and Dolphins have met only twice in their history, with the all-time series split at one game each going into the weekend. The two previous contests took place in 2016, with Riders having a 9-1 win over the most recent competition. Finally, Sunday’s singles match against IUPUI will mark the all-time first meeting between Racer and Jaguar.
The Tigers (5-1) came off a 2-1 weekend at the Osprey / Dolphin Invitational in Jacksonville which was highlighted by a 5-4 win over # 19 South Carolina on Saturday. Auburn is hitting 0.288 as a team and is averaging 5.17 runs per contest. The pitching staff have posted a combined 2.10 ERA and have recorded 49 strikeouts through 40 innings this year.
Individually, Aspyn Godwin led the attack, hitting .500 with three home runs, five extra-base, eight RBI and five runs scored over six games in 2021. Senior Makenna Dowell also entered the weekend with an eight streak that dates back. March 10, 2020.
Inside the circle, Auburn has seen Shelby Lowe and Maddie Penta shoulder the bulk of the workload, as they have logged an average gain of 0.75 and 1.47, respectively. Penta also recorded 22 strikeouts in 19 innings while holding down the opponent’s hitter averaging 0.121 on the dish.
The Dolphins are 3-4 going into the weekend having played 1-3 in their last home tournament. The only win of the weekend came in impressive fashion with a 14-4 hit from South Florida. Jacksonville scored 0.237 as a team in 2021 and averaged 3.14 per game. They were led by redshirt senior Mackenzie Buss, who hit .381 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored.
In the loop, Dolphins carry a team ERA of 2.55 and have recorded 47 strikeouts over 46.2 innings this year. Jacksonville has seen an incredible start to the season from redshirt senior Alyssa Bilodeau, who has fanned 32 batters to partner ERA 1.19 through 29.1 innings so far. After only doing six walks to date, he has a ratio of 5.33 K / W.
For Jaguar, the Tiger Invite will be their first act of 2021 as they will have their first competition since March 8, 2020. The Jags will have a different identity this season, as they only returned seven players from the 2020 squad who left. 5-15 before shutdown. They feature 10 true freshmen on the list, and will also have three sisters playing together in juniors Jaida Speth, freshman Jasmin Speth, and transfer graduate UIC Jennah Speth.
In the circle, Lexi Lucas, the 2019 Horizon League All-Freshman pick, is the only back thrower with significant experience, as he posted an ERA of 9.66 through 50.1 innings during the pandemic season which was shortened a year ago. The best hitter from last season returns to the Jaida Speth lineup, who scored an average of .373 and is second on the team with nine runs, and 10 RBI in 2020.
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