MURRAY — Sierra Gilmore and Hannah James of Murray State softball have earned Ohio Valley Conference weekly awards, as announced by the conference on Monday. Gilmore was named the league’s Player of the Week, while James notched Pitcher of the Week honors as the Racers swept the OVC’s weekly awards after a stellar final weekend of competition that saw them take all three games at home over Morehead State.
Gilmore’s big weekend began on Friday when she turned in a 3-for-3 performance that featured a double and a third-inning grand slam as the Williamsburg, Indiana, native drove in five runs while scoring three of her own in Murray State’s 14-4 five-inning victory over Morehead State. She followed that up with a 2-for-3 outing that included a double, stolen base and another RBI in her side’s 5-1 triumph in game two as the senior shortstop produced her team-leading 18th multi-hit game of the season. She reached base at a .700 clip in the weekend series.
James made an appearance in all three of Murray State’s contests against Morehead State over the weekend, earning a pair of victories to capture her eighth and ninth wins of the season. The first victory came in a relief appearance when the junior tossed 22/3 scoreless frames while surrendering just one hit and striking out two in the Racers’ 14-4 victory on Friday. She followed that up with a stellar start in game two that featured five shutout innings of two-hit ball while recording four more strikeouts in the 5-1 Murray State triumph. Finally, her most impressive outing of the weekend came in the season finale when she dealt seven scoreless innings while giving up just one hit as the Nicholasville native carried a no-hit bid into the seventh. She recorded 11 of the first 12 outs of the contest by way of strikeout as the junior matched her career high of 13 strikeouts. Additionally, she brought her strikeout tally to 158 in 2021 — breaking the Murray State single-season strikeout record of 148 that was previously held by CheyAnne Gaskey in 2013. She held the opposition to a .089 average on the weekend.
The pair of awards are the first weekly honors of the season for the Racers. For James, this marks the third Pitcher of the Week honor of her career and her first since Feb. 10, 2020. As for Gilmore, she garners the first weekly award of her career and also becomes the first Racer to notch an OVC Player of the Week honor since Maggie Glass on May 1, 2017.