Austin Peay Govs open OVC Tournament play Wednesday afternoon
Clarksville, TN -The Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team travels to Choccolocco Park in Oxford, AL, for the second straight season to participate in the Ohio Valley Conference Softball Championship.
Austin Peay Women’s Softball ready for OVC Tournament. (APSU Sports Information)
The tournament begins 10:00am, Wednesday, May 8th and runs through Saturday, with the championship game scheduled to begin at 11:00am.
The Governors will be joined by co-OVC regular-season champions Southeast Missouri and Jacksonville State, along with Murray State, Eastern Kentucky, Belmont, UT Martin and SIU Edwardsville.
The Govs finished the regular season this past weekend with a 31-20 overall record, including a 16-6 mark in OVC play, tying for third-place in the final conference standings — along with Murray State and Eastern Kentucky — but earned the tournament’s third-overall seed due to tie-breakers.
Austin Peay will open its tournament run, 3:00pm, Wednesday afternoon versus the winner of the morning’s elimination game between sixth-seed Belmont (30-21, 12-10 OVC) and seventh-seed UT Martin (29-26, 10-12 OVC). The Govs swept both Belmont and UT Martin in their conference doubleheaders during the regular season.
Offensively heading into the tournament, the Govs are the third-best hitting team average-wise in the OVC – batting at a .297 clip – with six players batting over .300 this season.
Leading the way is freshman third baseman Lexi Osowski, who is batting .406 this season, with 10 doubles, two home runs and 16 RBIs, despite missing a month due to injury, followed by senior utility player Danielle Liermann, who is batting .370, with an OVC-leading 18 home runs to go with 50 RBIs and 35 runs scored.
Senior outfielder Kacy Acree is just a point behind Liermann, at .369, with 13 doubles, six home runs, 41 runs scored and 30 RBIs.
Rounding out the group is junior first baseman/pitcher Kelsey Gross (.329, 4 HR, 24 RBI), senior catcher Carly Mattson (.310, 10 HR, 30 RBI) and senior pitcher/outfielder Morgan Rackel (.301, 9 HR, 36 RBI).
In the circle, the Govs rank second among all OVC teams in ERA (2.64) and strikeouts (300), while giving up the fewest runs (155) and walks (79).
Rackel, last season’s OVC Pitcher of the Year, leads the Govs pitching staff with a 20-7 record, a 1.99 ERA and an OVC-leading 219 strikeouts in 179.2 innings pitched, while Gross has come on strong of late, posting a 7-1 record this season, with a 2.08 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 67.1 innings pitched.
Senior Kelly Mardones rounds out the Govs pitching staff with a 4-12 record, a 4.43 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 87 innings pitched.
APSU Govs Hit-and-Run
The Govs appearance in this year’s OVC Championship Tournament marks the first time since the 2002-2003 seasons where the Govs have made back-to-back appearances into the conference tournament field.
Austin Peay is 8-22 overall in its 11 previous trips to the OVC Championship Tournament.
The Govs finished a program-best third-place in the 2018 OVC Championship Tournament, posting a 3-2 record.
Seniors Morgan Rackel and Carly Mattson were named to the 2018 All-OVC Tournament Team as juniors.
The Govs are 1-0 all-time versus UT Martin in the OVC Championship Tournament but have never faced Belmont in post-season action.
Follow APSU Softball
Follow the Govs softball team on Austin Peay State University’s official athletics website Let’sGoPeay.com or on Twitter @AustinPeaySB for more information or updates.