Big inning powers Austin Peay Governors past Lions
APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team took advantage of big first inning in Game 1, Sunday at Joe and Cathi Maynard Stadium-Cheryl Holt Field, on its way to defeating North Alabama 9-1, before dropping the nightcap, 4-0.
Austin Peay Softball beats North Alabama 9-1 in Game 1 but falls in the night cap 4-0. (APSU Sports Information)
The doubleheader was the 2019 home opener for the Governors and the first chance for fans to see the new bleachers and press box at the stadium and with a crowd of almost 200 supporters in attendance, the ceremonial first-pitch was made by Andrea Maynard in honor of all the support the Maynard Family has given to the APSU Athletics Department and to the Govs softball program.
The Govs (12-11) sent 12 batters to the plate in the opening inning, collecting five hits and four walks versus two UNA pitchers and scoring seven of those batters.
Highlighting the opening inning was Baily Shorter, who went 2-2 in the frame, with a solo home run and an RBI single.
Kacy Acree also drove in two runs with a single, while Kelsey Gross, Drew Dudley and Brooke Pfefferle also drove in runs.
North Alabama (11-6) would score its lone run in the top of the third inning, while Morgan Rackel closed-out the game’s scoring for APSU with a two-run homer in the fourth for the 9-1 final.
Rackel (8-5) also picked up the win in the circle, throwing the complete-game three-hitter, striking out five.
The nightcap proved to be a different story for the Govs, as they saw the Lions jump out to a quick 2-0 lead by taking advantage of an APSU error.
That would prove to be all the runs UNA would need, as the Govs only managed three base runners in the contest, two coming on singles by Gross and Pfefferle in the fifth inning, with a second-inning walk to Gross being the other.
The Lions would pickup two more unearned runs in the game, with Kelly Mardones (3-5) being tagged for the loss despite not giving up an earned run.
Inside the Boxscore
This was the first meeting between Austin Peay and North Alabama since 1990.
With the victory, Morgan Rackel becomes just the sixth pitcher in program history to reach at least 30 career wins.
Junior Kelsey Gross has now reached base in 10 straight games.
Freshman Lexi Osowski saw her first action in a month, since turning an ankle, with a fourth-inning pinch-hit single.
Senior pitcher Kelly Mardones recorded a career-high six assists in Game 2.
The seven-run first inning versus North Alabama was the second time this season the Govs have scored seven runs in the opening inning of a game (UAB/February 9th).
On the big start to home opener
“I think they were excited to be at home in front of a big crowd and came out swinging.”
On Morgan Rackel’s day in the circle
“Morgan came out and was focused after spending the past few days really honing-in on what she needed to do to get better and finally get back into her groove and we thought she did that today.”
On the struggle to put two quality games together back-to-back
“I think we have to find a way to come back in the second game and focus up and be behind Kelly (Mardones). Kelly threw well and the score and hits today don’t go together with how she pitched and performed today. We have to clean-up our defense and we have to go into the box like hitters and not just have one big game then have that dry up in the second game.”