CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University’s softball team will hit the road this weekend to close out its 2012 schedule with a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series versus Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Ill.
The series begins with a Saturday doubleheader at 1 p.m. and concludes with a Sunday single game at noon.
This weekend’s contests also will be the final games in the careers of three Lady Govs seniors: pitcher/outfielder Ashley Bolda (Wentzville, Mo.), centerfielder Catie Cozart (Newburgh, Ind.) and catcher Amy Mills (Chelsea, Okla.).
Austin Peay (19-28, 10-17 OVC) comes into the series playing some of its season’s best softball, having won seven of its last 10 games, including a first-ever three-game sweep of Jacksonville State last weekend. However, the Lady Govs enter the weekend in ninth place in the OVC standings and will not qualify for the OVC tournament.
Meanwhile, Eastern Illinois is in fourth place in the OVC standings (15-10) and conceivably could still gain the second-seed and accompanying bye in the upcoming league tournament.
Offensively, the Lady Govs are led by sophomore first baseman/pitcher Lauren deCastro, who is hitting .386, with team bests in runs scored (29), RBI (29), slugging percentage (.641), on-base percentage (.447), doubles (10), home runs (9) and walks (14).
Another underclassman, freshman shortstop Paige Neely is the only other Lady Govs hitting more than .300 after 47 games this season and enters the series with a .368 batting average, 19 RBI and 15 runs scored.
In the circle, junior Morgan Brewer leads the Lady Govs pitching staff with an 10-13 win-loss mark this season, including going 3-0 last week to earn adidas ® OVC Pitcher of the Week honors. She enters the weekend with a 3.24 ERA to go with 103 strikeouts in 153.1 innings of work.
Leading the team in ERA (2.55) is deCastro, who sports a 6-6 record with 64 strikeouts in 93.1 inning of work.
Eastern Illinois (25-24) is led offensively by Bailey O’Dell, who enters the matchup batting .361 with 17 doubles and 23 RBI.
Stephanie Maday paces the Panthers pitching staff with 200.1 innings pitched that has translated into a 15-13 overall record, a 2.03 ERA and 187 strikeouts.
Clarksville Academy is hosting the District 10-A Tournament starting today at the Clarksville Academy Sports Complex.
Clarksville Academy enters as the No. 2 seed and will play McEwen at 6 p.m. today.
The double-elimination portion of the tournament will be begin at 4:30 Monday and Tuesday with the championship game slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday and again 7 p.m. Thursday (if necessary).
Go to the Clarksville Academy Baseball web site for living scoring and updates of the 10-A Tournament.
District 10-A Tournament Schedule
No. 4 East Robertson vs. No. 5 Houston County, 1 p.m.
No. 3 Jo Byrns vs. No. 6 Nashville Christian, 3:30 p.m.
No. 2 Clarksville Academy vs. No. 7 McEwen, 6 p.m.
Monday’s Games (Double Elimination Starts)
Game 1 – Winner Jo Byrns/Nashville Christian vs. Winner Clarksville Academy/McEwen, 4:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Winner East Robertson/Houston County vs. No. 1 White House Heritage, 7 p.m.
Game 3 – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4 – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3, 4:30 p.m.
Game 6 – Championship, 7 p.m.
*Game 7 – Championship, 6 p.m.
Still in first place, Austin Peay will look to bounce back from its first Ohio Valley Conference series loss since 2010 when it travels for a three-game league set at SIU Edwardsville. The two teams will begin their series with a 6 p.m. game Friday at Simmons Baseball Complex in Edwardsville, Ill., before 1 p.m. games both Saturday and Sunday.
Greg Bachman's 11th inning walk-off single secured Austin Peay's 10-9 win over Arkansas St.
SETTING THE SCENE
Dates: Friday-Sunday, May 4-6, 2012 | First Pitch: Listed below
Location: Edwardsville, Ill. | Stadium: Simmons Baseball Complex (1,000) | Live Stats: www.SIUECougars.com
Series: APSU leads, 8-7 | Streak: SIUE, one win | McClure vs. SIUE: 6-1
||Austin Peay Starter
||LHP Zach Toney
||RHP Travis Felax
||WVRY 105.1 FM
||(Sr., 3-2, 3.29 ERA)
||(So., 5-3, 2.99 ERA
||RHP Ryan Quick
||RHP Josh Hoguet
||WVRY 105.1 FM
||(RSo., 3-2, 4.79 ERA)
||(Jr., 2-5, 7.01 ERA
||RHP Casey Delgado
||RHP Thad Hawkins
||WVRY 105.1 FM
||(Jr., 5-4, 6.25 ERA)
||(Sr., 2-4, 8.36 ERA)
|STATISTICAL COMPARISON: GOVS VS. COUGARS
GOVERNORS QUICK HITS
Austin Peay saw its OVC lead trimmed to one-half game after losing 2 of 3 to Jacksonville State last weekend, its first series loss since 2010… the Govs battled through an inconsistent April, posting a 9-7 (.563) mark during the month… junior shortstop Reed Harper batted a team-best .409 during April and is now batting .328 this season… junior outfielder Cody Hudson batted .377, drove in 18 of his 28 RBI this season and ended the month with a career-best 10-game hit streak that is still active… Hudson leads the Govs with a .333 batting average and a .548 slugging percentage entering the regular season’s final month… he is one of five Govs batting .300 or better at this point with the team posting a .291 batting average… senior third baseman Greg Bachman continues to lead the team in home runs (9) and RBI (42) and is batting .304… sophomore second baseman Jordan Hankins ranks among the team’s leaders in average (.317), home runs (5) and RBI (41)… on the mound, Austin Peay will continue with the rotation it used for the first time this season against Jacksonville State… senior Zach Toney, who has a 2-0 record and a league-best 1.44 ERA in OVC games this season, will get the nod for Game 1… sophomore Ryan Quick will look to snap a streak of four consecutive games surrendering 6-plus runs that has bumped his OVC ERA to 6.86 while he sports a 3-2 record… junior Casey Delgado, who has a 2-2 record and 4.83 ERA in OVC action, will hold down the No. 3 spot.
ABOUT SIU EDWARDSVILLE
The Cougars have won 5 of their last 7 contests, prior to a Thursday outing against Saint Louis, but lost 2 of 3 at Murray State last weekend and enter the weekend tied for fifth in the OVC standings… SIU Edwardsville is ranked 8th in team batting average (.270) and 7th in team ERA (5.97) but are the league’s best fielding team (.977) with 17 fewer errors than any other OVC team this season… junior designated hitter Matt Highland leads the Cougars with a .321 batting average (24th in OVC), including a .345 mark in OVC play (19th)… sophomore outfielder Devin Caldwell leads SIUE with 6 home runs and is batting .256 this season… junior first baseman Joel Greatting and senior third baseman Zach Hawkins each have team-best 29 RBI and are among five Cougars posting 20 or more RBI this season… sophomore Travis Felax will make the Game 1 start, boasting a 1-2 record and 2.44 ERA in six league starts… junior Josh Hoguet will get the nod in Game 2, bringing a 1-2 record and 5.61 ERA in 6 OVC starts into Saturday’s contest… senior Thad Hawkins has been the Cougars No. 3 starter in league play and has a 2-4 record and 10.66 ERA in six league outings.
GOVS OVC STREAK COMES TO AN END
Austin Peay’s 1-2 series loss to Jacksonville State, April 27-29, brought an end to a long stretch of success in league play. The Govs put together a streak of 14 consecutive non-losing series, dating back to the next-to-last weekend of the 2010 regular season. Austin Peay was 31-9 (.775) in those 14 series.
GOVS SUFFER THROUGH SUB-PAR WEEKEND VS. GAMECOCKS
The Govs saw very little go right in its 1-2 series loss to Jacksonville State, April 27-29. The offense was held to 3 runs per game in the series after entering the weekend averaging 8.7 runs in 14 previous conference outings. Austin Peay pitching didn’t fare much better, allowing a 7.67 ERA and a .298 batting average to second-place Jacksonville State, well above its OVC averages of a 4.63 ERA and .263 opponents batting average. Even the defense struggled, posting 7 errors and a .943 fielding percentage.
WEEK 11: TONEY EARNS ADIDAS/OVC WEEKLY HONOR
Senior starter Zach Toney made his first career conference start in the No. 1 spot, April 27, against Jacksonville State. The senior right hander led APSU to its only victory, holding the second-place Gamecocks to one hit and zero runs over his eight innings to earn adidas OVC co-Player of the Week honors. After walking the bases loaded and working out of the jam in the first, Toney surrendered only a third-inning walk before allowing his lone base hit with one out in the fifth. That hit seemed to galvanize the Govs hurler as he retired the final 14 batters he faced.
LONG ROAD TO WRAP REGULAR SEASON FOR GOVERNORS
Beginning with its April 18 contest at Middle Tennessee, the Govs will play 14 of their final 21 games away from Raymond C. Hand Park. Austin Peay is 3-4 during this closing stretch after losing 2 of 3 against Jacksonville State, last weekend. Last season, APSU played 13 of its final 20 games on the road, posting a 15-5 mark during that final stretch.
GOVS IN HOSTILE TERRITORY
The Govs have not fared as well as the visitor since 2000, winning just 45.2 percent (140-170 record) of the time in true road contests. Austin Peay has just five .500-or-better road campaigns in the last 11 seasons. Four of their OVC Championships (2004, ‘05, ‘07 and ‘11) came in years with .500-or-better road records. The Govs other championship (2003) came when they posted a 9-10-1 record on the road.
The Govs have five walk-off victories to their credit this season, including three in extra innings. Junior Cody Hudson became the latest walk-off hero with his 10th inning solo blast against Murray State, April 15. That followed a walk-off leadoff home run by senior first baseman Tyler Childress the day before. The Govs went 34 days between walk-off winners, senior third baseman Greg Bachman hit a RBI single against Arkansas State in a 10-9, 11-inning victory, March 11. Sophomore second baseman Jordan Hankins had a game-winning single in the Govs 10-inning victory against Iowa, March 3, and junior shortstop Reed Harper belted a walk-off solo home run against Illinois State, Feb. 18.