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APSU begins 2018 season at Georgia Southern Eagle Round Robin

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU SoftballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s softball team will open its 33rd season of play this coming weekend, February 9th-11th, as it travels to Statesboro, GA, to participate in the Georgia Southern Eagle Round Robin.

2018 Austin Peay State University Softball Team. (APSU Sports Information)

2018 Austin Peay State University Softball Team. (APSU Sports Information)

This weekend’s action also marks the first games played by the Governors under new head coach Rodney DeLong, who was named the program’s ninth head coach in June 2017 after serving on the coaching staff at Georgia Tech as an assistant.

Joining Austin Peay in this season’s opening event will be Radford, East Tennessee, Murray State and tournament host Georgia Southern. The Govs will not play Ohio Valley Conference foe Murray State in this season-opening weekend.

The Govs opening play Friday, 1:00pm, versus Radford, followed by a 6:00pm contest versus tournament host Georgia Southern. On Saturday, 10:30am, APSU will square off against East Tennessee, with a rematch versus Georgia Southern at 6:00pm that evening. Austin Peay will closeout its opening weekend Sunday, 8:00am, in a rematch versus Radford.

Scouting the Opposition

Radford
The Highlanders were picked to finish fifth under first-time head coach Hope Creasy in the Big South Conference pre-season poll, despite returning 13 letterwinners – eight starters – from its 2017 squad that finished 27-28 overall.

The Govs are 2-0 all time versus Radford, having last meet during the 2014 season.

East Tennessee
The Buccaneers, coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017, were picked to finish third in the Southern Conference’s pre-season poll. They return 13 letterwinners from its 2017 team that finished 29-26 overall.

The Govs are 1-1 all-time versus ETSU, with their last meeting occurring during the 2013 season.

Georgia Southern
The Eagles return 13 letterwinners and five starters from its 2017 team but were picked to finish seventh in the Sun Belt Conference’s pre-season poll.

Its been a quarter of a century since the Govs and Eagles have squared off on the softball field, having last meet during the 1993 season, with APSU trailing in the all-time series 0-2.

Govs Hit-and-Run

Austin Peay has won its last six season openers.

The Govs return 14 letterwinners – including seven defensive starters – accounting for 79.8 percent of last year’s total offense.

Sophomore Kelsey Gross is the only returning pitcher on this year’s roster with NCAA Division I experience in the circle.

APSU added six new pitchers to its roster for 2018, including two junior-college transfers, three true freshmen and one returning red-shirt freshman.

JUCO pitching transfers Morgan Rackel (2nd-Team) and Kelly Mardones (3rd-Team) were both NJCAA All-Americans in 2017.

Rackel will be the first left-handed pitcher on the Govs staff since the 2010 season.

The Govs will have an all-time most seven left-handed hitters on its 25-person roster in 2018.

Three members of this year’s team (Alexis Hill, Natalie Schilling, Katie Keen) are Clarksville products.

The contest versus East Tennessee this opening weekend is the first of eight games the Govs will play versus four teams (ETSU, Chattanooga, Mercer, Samford) from the Southern Conference this season.


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