JSU Falls To Murray State In OVC Tournament (2nd Round)
Missed opportunities early proved costly late for the Jacksonville State softball team in a 5-4 loss to Murray State in the second round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
The second-seeded Gamecocks (37-16), who finished the season just .009 points ahead of the Racers (38-17) in the conference standings, stranded 11 runners on base - eight in the first four innings - before a three-run homer from Maggie Glass in the fifth put MSU up for good.
The Gamecocks racked up 10 hits against the Racers and used a three-run second to take early control of the game, but the homer from Glass put JSU into the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournament, where they will play either Eastern Kentucky or Morehead State at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
Senior Sara Borders homered and walked twice, while seniorSavannah Sloan and freshmen Whitney Gillespie each had two hits in the loss for JSU. Shelbey Miller went 2-for-2 with two RBI to lead MSU on a day that saw them get just six hits.
The Racers struck first and did so in the first inning. A leadoff single from Alexa Becker and a two-out RBI single from Miller gave MSU an early 1-0 lead.
The Gamecocks answered right away, getting three runs in a four-hit second inning. Cadi Oliver started the frame by dropping a leadoff double into the right field corner. She scored on an RBI double from Gillespie, who was followed by RBI singles fromTaylor Sloan and Bullock to put JSU up 3-1.
The Racers got one back in the third, thanks to a sac fly from Miller that made it a 3-2 game.
The Gamecocks had chances to pull away but left the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings to leave the door open for the Racer offense. MSU took advantage in the fifth, getting a three-run homer down the left field line by Glass that gave it a 5-3 lead.
JSU cut the Murray lead in half in the top of the sixth, when Borders went to the opposite field with a solo homer to left that made it a 5-4 game. Her 49th career homer brought her within four of Daniela Pappano's school record of 53. It extended her career high in homers for a season to 18, which leads the OVC.
Gillespie (11-6) suffered the loss in relief of starter Taylor West. Gillespie allowed three runs on just two hits and three walks, while striking out three in 3 2/3 innings. West surrendered two runs on four hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings in the circle.
CheyAnne Gaskey (20-9) earned the win, also in relief, after holding JSU to a run on four hits in 4 2/3 innings of work. Mason Robinson left after 2 1/3 innings that saw her give up three runs on six hits and two walks.
The Gamecocks will face EKU in the loser's bracket on Friday.