Austin Peay Govs dominate Golden Eagles in sweep
APSU Sports Information
Cookeville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team got two exceptional pitching performances from Kelsey Gross and Morgan Rackel to go with an offense that pounded out 23 hits in scoring 18 runs, as the Govs swept an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader at Tennessee Tech by 10-0 and 8-1 finals.
With the victories, the Govs (25-18, 10-4 OVC) stay in contention for one of the top four spots in the upcoming OVC Championship Tournament and earning a first-round bye.
Austin Peay Softball pitcher Kelsey Gross strikes out 5, walks 2, and holds Tennessee Tech scoreless in Govs win in Game 1, Wednesday. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay 10, Tennessee Tech 0
The Govs and Golden Eagles (18-23, 8-10 OVC) would trade two scoreless innings to open the game, but that would start to chance in the top of the third for the Govs, as they broke the deadlock on an RBI single by Danielle Liermann for a 1-0 advantage.
Things would only get worst for Tech after that, as the Govs took advantage of three fourth-inning errors, along with three hits, to break the game open by scoring five times in the inning – highlighted by a three-run homer by Liermann.
That would be more than enough runs for Gross (4-1) as she limited Tennessee Tech to just two hits and two walks on the day, while striking out five, as she recorded her first shutout of the season.
But while Gross had the Tech hitters stymied, the Govs bats continued to roll, with Kacy Acree picking up an RBI single in the fifth and a three-run homer in the seventh for the 10-0 final margin.
Austin Peay 8, Tennessee Tech 1
The Govs wouldn’t be waiting so late to get the bats going in the nightcap, as they scored three quick runs in the top of the first inning, with Liermann picking up her fifth RBI of the day with a single, followed by a two-run homer by Carly Mattson.
Rackel (18-5) would take it from there for the Govs, as the left-hander only allowed one run on five hits to Tennessee Tech in her complete-game victory, while striking out 10.
With Rackel shackled the Tech hitters, the Govs continued to add to its run total, with Bailey Shorter driving in a run in the third inning, for a 4-1 advantage, before the Govs put any chances for a comeback to rest with a four-run fifth inning – highlighted by a three-run homer by Rackel and an RBI double by Shorter.
Inside the Boxscore
Danielle Liermann’s single in the first inning of Game 2 was the 211th hit of her career moving her past APSU Athletics Hall of Famer Andrea Miller (1993-96) for first-place all-time in program history.
Kacy Acree’s third-inning double in Game 2 was the 200th hit of her career, making her one of only five players to reach at least 200 hits in a career.
Danielle Liermann and Kacy Acree become the first two Govs players to both have at least 200-career hits at the same time.
Kacy Acree’s third at-bat in Game 1 was the 700th plate appearance in her career, the first APSU layer to reach 700 plate appearances in a career.
Morgan Rackel’s victory in Game 2 was the 40th of her career, making her the fourth pitcher in program history to reach 40 career wins.
Kelsey Gross has thrown two-hit victories in each of her last two starts.
Carly Mattson’s home run in the first inning of Game 2 was the Govs 52nd home run of the season, setting a team single-season record.
Danielle Liermann’s three-hit effort in Game 1 was the 60th multi-hit game of her career.
Morgan Rackel’s home run in Game 2 was the 16th of her career, tying her with Ashley Taylor (2007-09) for the 10th-most in program history.
On Danielle Liermann and Kacy Acree’s milestones and careers
“Dani and Kacy have had incredible career’s here over the last four years, both offensively and defensive – which doesn’t get the notice as their offensive numbers do. They have been a big part of this program and where it is going and they continued to be a spark for this team time and time again, whether as a pair or as one or the other, and today was no different. I’m so proud of what they have and will continue to accomplish in their careers.”
On the two pitching performances
“Kelsey and Morgan had two great pitching efforts today for us. This is back-to-back outstanding efforts from Kelsey, and she was earned the right to have more starts in the circle for us, while Morgan continues to show time and time again that she is one of the best pitchers in our conference game-in and game-out.”
On the Govs offense explosion
“We have been talking about being more aggressive at the plate and they came out and showed that in both games. Up and down the lineup we had people step up and contribute and if we continue to take that approach at the plate, like we did today, we can be a very tough team to get out going forward.”