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Austin Peay Lady Govs Softball split twinbill with Jackson State behind Lauren de Casto’s shutout

APSU Sports: Austin Peay Women’s Softball

Austin Peay State University Lady GovsJackson, MS – Sophomore Lauren de Castro pitched a three-hit shutout in Monday’s opening game to help lead Austin Peay’s softball team to a split of its doubleheader with Jackson State, at the JSU Softball Complex, winning 11-0 before dropping the nightcap 6-4.

The shutout was the first in de Castro’s career at Austin Peay and the first since Morgan Brewer authored a four-hit shutout versus Tennessee State on March 31st, 2011.

Sophomore Lauren deCastro throws three hitter against Jackson State in 11-0 win. Austin Peay Women's Softball. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)
Sophomore Lauren deCastro throws three hitter against Jackson State in 11-0 win. Austin Peay Women's Softball. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

Along with giving up just the three hits — a double and two singles — the right hander struck out six, while walking two and needed only 73 pitches (43 strikes) to pick up the win.

Austin Peay (2-4) also got a big boost from its offense early, with the Lady Govs scoring twice in the first inning and four more times in the second to take a commanding 6-0 lead.

Jackson State (4-4) got the first two Lady Govs out to start the game, but red-shirt sophomore Kristin Whitmire drew a walk and scored all the way around from first on a double down the left-field line by red-shirt junior Shelby Norton.

Shelby NortonFreshman Sarah Rassmussen then followed with a single to left center, bring in Norton to make it 2-0.

A pair of seniors got things going for Austin Peay in the second inning, with Ashley Bolda opening things up with a double to left center and moved to third on a single by Amy Mills.

Mills would steal second and freshman Laurel Burroughs would walk to load the bases.

Amy MillsBolda would score the first run of the inning on a passed ball, while freshman Lauren Bradley drove in Mills and Burroughs an out later with a double down the left-field line to make it 5-0.

Bradley scored the final run of the inning off a wild pitch.

The score would remain that way until the top of the fourth inning, when the Lady Govs exploded for four more runs, with Whitmire, Rasmussen, de Castro and Bolda driving in runs.

Jackson State best scoring chance against de Castro came in the bottom of the fourth inning, as the Lady Tigers got runners to second and third – with two outs – but de Castro got pinch-hitter Lauren Akins to line out too short to end the threat.

Austin Peay would add an insurance run in the top of the fifth inning, when senior Catie Cozart hit a two-out triple to center – her second triple of the game – and scored on a wild pitch.

Overall, the Lady Govs banged out a season-high 12 hits in the win, with eight of the nine starters picking up at least one hit.

Kristin WhitmireIt wasn’t all good news for the Lady Govs in the opener, as Whitmire – who was playing second base — had to leave the game in the bottom of the fourth inning after falling when making a catch in short right field and having her feet go out from under her as she tried to plant and throw back to first base to double off the runner.

She did not return, or play the rest of the day, and the severity of her injury will be reevaluated Tuesday.

Game two also started well for the Lady Govs, with Austin Peay scoring three times in the opening frame.

Catie CozartCozart and Bradley opened the game with back-to-back hits, with Cozart coming in to score on an error by Lady Tigers left fielder Tayler Nave off a ball hit by freshman Paige Neely.

Bradley and Neely would both come around and score later in the inning on infield outs by Rasmussen and de Castro.

Jackson State would score its first run of the day in the bottom of the first, as Nave reached on a leadoff single, steal second and score on a single by Amanda Vasquez to make it 3-1.

The score would remain that way until the top of the sixth inning, with Austin Peay tacking on a run with Rasmussen – who reached after being hit by a pitch — scored on a throwing error by Lady Tiger catcher Arianna Smith, following a passed ball to start the play.

Things looked in control for the Lady Govs and Bolda – who up to that time have only given up one run and five hits over six inning of work – but thing would go south in a hurry.

Smith and Akins would open up the inning with back-to-back doubles, with Smith scoring to make it 4-2.

Bolda would then walk Felicia Wilson — her only walk surrendered in the game – to put runners at first and second.

Ashley BoldaJasmine Warren followed with a bunt single to load the bases – still with no outs – and the Lady Govs clinging to a 4-2 lead.

But one pitch later Jackson State took its only lead of the day – and the come-from-behind victory – on Nave’s grand slam to straight away center field for the 6-4 final.

Neely would lead the Lady Govs with three hits, while Cozart recorded two hits.

The Lady Govs return to action Wednesday, as they open the home part of their schedule with a doubleheader against Treveeca at Cheryl Holt Field, starting at 2:00pm.

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