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APSU Lady Govs Softball loses doubleheader to Eastern Illinois Panthers

APSU Sports: Austin Peay Softball

Austin Peay State University Lady GovsCharleston, IL – Austin Peay’s softball team got a pair of solid pitching performances Saturday afternoon in its Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader versus Eastern Illinois, but unfortunately for the Lady Govs, they came up on the short end of both finals to the Panthers, 1-0 and 3-2.

Sophomore Lauren de Castro had three hits in doubleheader versus Eastern Illinois. Austin Peay Softball. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)
Sophomore Lauren de Castro had three hits in doubleheader versus Eastern Illinois. Austin Peay Softball. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)

Junior Morgan Brewer (10-14) was the hard-luck loser for the Lady Govs (19-30, 10-19 OVC) in the opener, as she lost her second 1-0 game of the season and eighth one-run decision overall,  giving up only five hits and one unearned run in her six inning of work against the Panthers.

Eastern Illinois (27-24, 17-10 OVC) would score the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth inning, aided by two Lady Govs errors.

Morgan BrewerBrewer was able to get Kaylie Pruett fly out to left field to open the inning, but leadoff hitter Bailey O’Dell singled into short right field and moved around to second base when the ball got by senior right fielder Ashley Bolda for an error.

Melise Brown then singled through the left side on the infield, with O’Dell moving to third base, but red-shirt junior Jessica Ryan didn’t field the ball cleanly and her bobble allowed O’Dell to score the unearned run.

Catie CozartAustin Peay’s best chance to score in the game came in the top of the second inning with senior Catie Cozart leading off the inning with a single past the Panther first baseman and moved into scoring position at second base on a sacrifice by Bolda.

Cozart would lead the Lady Govs with two hits.

But Panther starting pitcher Stephanie Maday struck out Ryan and sophomore Kayla Davidson to get end the threat.

Sophomore Lauren de Castro and senior Amy Mills had the other two hits for Austin Peay.

The hit for de Castro was her 60th of the season, only the fourth Lady Govs to reach that milestone, and the first since Louranda Sanders and Amanda Travis accomplished the feat back during the 1998 campaign.

In Game 2, de Castro would give up one run to Eastern Illinois in each of the first three innings – only two being earned – while giving up five hits over that stretch.

But she kept the Lady Govs in the contest by only giving up only hit hits and no runs the rest of the way.

Lauren de CastroThe run in the first inning came in on an RBI single by Ashleigh Westover, scoring Brown – who reached on de Castro’s only walk of the game.

Eastern Illinois made it 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning, when the Panther took advantage of a dropped throw to Brewer at first base, which allowed EIU an extra out to get the run in.

Austin Peay would rally to tie the game in the top of the third inning, scoring twice on three hits.

Sarah RasmussenFreshman Laurel Burroughs led off the inning with a single to right field and moved to second base on a sacrifice by freshman Sarah Rasmussen.

Panther starter Hanna Mennenga got freshman Courtney Ervin to ground out to short for the second out, but de Castro followed by picking up her 30th RBI of the season by driving in Burroughs with a double to center.

The 30 RBIs by de Castro is the most by a Lady Gov since Brianna Venable had 33 back during the 1996 season.

Paige NeelyFreshman Paige Neely then singled up the middle to score de Castro to make it 2-2.

But the Panthers responded with their final run of the day in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right field by Reynar Hutchinson, scoring Haylie Pieper – who opened the inning with a triple.

Austin Peay had two other chances to tie or take the lead in the contest, including loading the bases in the top of the fifth inning, but Maday came in and got out of the inning and finished up the game for her third saves of the season.

Austin Peay Lady Govs finish their series with Eastern Illinois, Sunday at 1:00pm.