Austin Peay Governors open OVC play at Eastern Illinois
APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – After posting a winning record in its pre-conference schedule, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team opens Ohio Valley Conference play at Eastern Illinois, noon Sunday at Williams Field, looking to improve on last year’s runner-up finish in conference play.
Austin Peay Softball to begin OVC Season Sunday at Eastern Illinois. (APSU Sports Information)
The Govs (15-13) are coming into the doubleheader after posting a 3-2 record last weekend at the Miami Invitational, including a walk-off win versus Michigan State last Sunday, while Eastern Illinois (9-19) went 5-5 at the University of South Florida Series in Clearwater, FL, last week.
The Govs offense is led by senior Danielle Liermann, who is hitting at a .362 clip, with five doubles, 11 home runs and 23 RBIs.
Liermann is followed by a trio of teammates also hitting .300-or-better so far this season, led by junior Kelsey Gross (.346, 2 HR, 13 RBI) and seniors Carly Mattson (.326, 5 HR, 19 RBI) and Kacy Acree (.313, 5 HR, 18 RBI).
In the circle, Morgan Rackel has been the workhorse of the Govs staff posting an 11-5 overall record with a 2.45 ERA in 102.2 innings of work, while striking out an Ohio Valley Conference high 114 batters this season.
Kelly Mardones follows at 3-7, with a 4.11 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 61.1 innings pitched, while Gross rounds out the staff with a 1-1 record – with two saves — a 2.52 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 25 innings.
The Panthers, who play a doubleheader versus Murray State on Saturday before facing the Govs, are led at the plate by Breya Cooper (.324, 4 HR, 15 RBI) and Mia Davis (.303, 4 HR, 19 RBI), while McKenna Coffman (2-6, 2.70 ERA, 22 K’s) and Jade Montgomery (3-10, 5.09 ERA, 38 K’s) top the EIU pitching staff.
APSU Governors Hit and Run
Senior third baseman Danielle Liermann enters the EIU doubleheader needing three hits to reach 200 for her career.
The APSU-EIU series is the seventh-most played series in Govs history.
Senior pitcher Morgan Rackel needs 10 strikeouts to move into a tie for fourth-place all-time strikeouts by an APSU pitcher in program history (328).
Senior outfielder Natalie Schilling needs two stolen bases for 50 in her career.
One more win will move this year’s senior class alone into sixth-place all-time for wins by a senior class (81).