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APSU Softball heads to Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament to kick off 2017 season

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Softball - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s softball team will kick-off its 2017 regular season this weekend, as they travel to Kennesaw, GA, to participate in the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament, hosted by Kennesaw State University.

The Governors open up play on Saturday, 10:00am, versus South Carolina State, followed by a 2:00pm contest versus tournament host Kennesaw State.

Austin Peay Softball travels to Kennesaw, GA for Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Softball travels to Kennesaw, GA for Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament this weekend. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay concludes its tournament stay on Sunday with a pair of games against Saint Louis, beginning at 9:00am.

Fellow Ohio Valley Conference rival Morehead State is also in the tournament, but the Govs and Eagles won’t meet this weekend.

Austin Peay’s meeting with South Carolina State, a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, will be the first between the two schools; but the Govs do own a 3-0 all-time record versus current teams from the MEAC.

The Govs have a 9-8 all-time record versus Athletic 10 Conference member Saint Louis and a 1-5 all-time mark versus Kennesaw State, of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

APSU Softball - Danielle LiermannAustin Peay enters the season coming off a 9-38 campaign in 2016, including a 5-22 mark in OVC play, and were picked to finish 11th in the  preseason Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll  — with defending regular-season and tournament champions, Jacksonville State was picked as the favorite to repeat as OVC champions.

But the Govs enter the season returning 86 percent of its total offense and 67 percent of its innings pitched from last year, with 13 total lettermen back.

Leading the returnees on offense is sophomore third baseman Danielle Liermann and red-shirt sophomore outfielder Kacy Acree, who both earned All-OVC honors last season.

APSU Softball - Kacy AcreeLiermann was selected the OVC’s Freshman of the Year – only the second time an Austin Peay player has won the award — while also being picked First-Team All-OVC and to the OVC All-Newcomer Team after batting .361 last year, with seven home runs and 36 RBIs

Acree joined Liermann on the OVC’s All-Newcomers Team after batting .333, with six home runs, 21 RBI’s and a team-high 30 runs scored.

Other returning letterwinners are Rikki Arkansas (outfield), Chandler Groves (outfield), Erica Inagaki (second base), Carly Mattson (utility), Kendall Vedder (shortstop), Savanna Oliver (outfield), Alexis Hill (catcher), Sidney Hooper (pitcher), Christiana Gable (pitcher), Allie Blackwood (pitcher) and Autumn Hanners (pitcher).

Hanners is the team’s returning wins, strikeout and earned run leader from last year, while Hooper has the most returning career strikeouts and Blackwood the team’s returning active saves leader.

This upcoming opening weekend will also be the first action for eight new players on the Govs roster –all freshmen – with six of those coming from within the Volunteer State.

Joining the softball team from Tennessee are: Kelsey Gray (catcher-outfielder/Dover), Brett Jackson (utility/Charlotte), Hannah Thompson (pitcher/Hendersonville), Drew Dudley (utility/Brentwood), Cassidy Hale (first base/Franklin) and Kelsey Gross (pitcher-first base/Collierville).

Two other utility players: Victoria Eccleston (Gilbert, AZ) and Emily Moore (Parker, CO) round out the incoming freshmen for this year’s squad.


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