The Murray State softball team dropped a pair of tight games to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at Central Park in Murray, 5-4 and 12-8 in eight innings.
In game one, the Lady Colonels (21-14, 8-4) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead when they scored three runs in the first and one in the second. Sarah Fobbs accounted for two of the four runs when she hit her first of three home runs on the day in the opening frame.
The Racers (12-20, 5-6) struck back in the third when they scored three runs of their own, fueled by an RBI double from Sarah Anderson and a two-RBI single from Audrey Woodby. Murray State then carried over that momentum to the fourth where they tied the game at four all on a solo home run by Casey Castile, her fifth of the season.
However, the Racers let the game slip away from them in the top of the seventh when Hayley Shcenasi scored on a MSU error and a stolen base. Woodby led off the bottom of the seventh when she was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Christian Cox. However, the Lady Colonels prevented any further damage in the next at bat with an game-ending double play.
Ellyn Troup led MSU in the contest by going 2-for-3 with a double and a run, while Raquel Howes led EKU at 3-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI.
Leanna Pitsenbarger (13-7) got the win in relief for the Lady Colonels after allowing just one run on two hits with six strikeouts over the final 5.2 innings of the game. For the Racers, Shelby Kosmecki (5-13) took the loss after she gave up three earned runs on eight hits with two strikeouts.
In game two, it was the Racers that jumped out to an early lead and did so with a four-run first inning. Leslie Bridges got the scoring started when she drove in two on a double to center field. Anderson followed suit two batters later when she doubled through the right side, making it 4-0.
Despite the Lady Colonels scoring one in the fourth and three in the fifth, Murray State still held a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. In that inning, Alexa Becker gave the Racers an insurance run when she hit her team-high eighth home run of the season to make it 7-4 going into the seventh.
In the seventh, Eastern Kentucky surged to an 8-7 lead when they scored four runs off of back-to-back-to-back home runs from Howes, Fobbs and Katie Tackett. In the bottom of the frame, the Racers forced the game to extra innings when pinch runner Erica Howard scored on a wild pitch by the Lady Colonels.
However, EKU went up permanently in the eighth when Christiana Ciolek and Fobbs hit a pair of two-RBI home runs. The Racers were unable to get any offense going in the bottom of the inning and were retired in order, giving Eastern Kentucky the 12-8 win.
Bridges led the Racers in the game by going 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs, while Shelbey Miller, Troup and Anderson each tallied two hits. For the Lady Colonels, it was Howes leading way at 4-for-5 with two runs, a home run and four RBIs, while Fobbs followed at 3-for-4 with three runs, three RBIs and two home runs.
Hayley Flynn picked up the second game win for EKU to advance to 2-0 on the year after allowing two runs on four hits over 4.2 innings. Reliever J.J. Francis fell to 0-1 on the year in the loss after she allowed four runs on four hits with one strikeout over one complete inning.
The Racers will look to snap a five-game losing streak on Sunday when they host Morehead State in an OVC doubleheader. First pitch at Central Park is scheduled for 12 p.m.
From: MSU media relations
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