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APSU Softball opens season with wins over South Carolina State and Kennesaw State

APSU Sports Information

APSU Softball - Austin Peay State UniversityKennesaw, GA – Austin Peay State University’s softball team opened its 2017 regular season with two wins, Saturday at Bailey Park, in the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament with the Govs defeating South Carolina State 12-2 – in five innings – before handling Kennesaw State, 9-1.

The two wins mark the first time since the start of the 2007 season the Govs had opened a campaign with back-to-back victories, while also extending its current streak of season-opening wins to six.

Austin Peay Softball team wins both games Saturday at Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Softball team wins both games Saturday at Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament. (APSU Sports Information)

In Game 1, Austin Peay would get out early, 1-0, with Cassidy Hale driving in Kacy Acree with a two-out double in the bottom of the first inning, the first of four RBIs in the contest for the freshman.

South Carolina State (0-3) would tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning, with an unearned run, but Austin Peay responded with four runs in the top of the third inning to retake the lead for good.

Highlighting the four-run third for the Govs was a long two-run homer to left field by Hale and an RBI single by Acree. The other APSU run came in via a Bulldogs error.

That would be all the runs that Austin Peay starter Autumn Hanners (1-0) would need, as she limited South Carolina State to two hits and two base on balls in four innings of work, while striking out two.

The Govs would extend their lead to 8-2 in the top of the fourth, with three more runs, two coming on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Danielle Liermann and Hale and the other on a double by Carley Mattson.

Austin Peay would close out the games scoring with four more runs in the top of the fifth inning, with Erica Inagaki picking up and RBI single and Acree blasting a three-run homer just inside the right field foul pole for the 12-2 final margin.

In Game 2, the Govs would get off to a slow start versus Kennesaw State (2-1) – only collecting one hit over the first four innings and trailing the Owls 1-0.

But Austin Peay would explode for five hits – including three home runs in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead for good.

Mattson would lead off the inning with a home run the center field to tie the game 1-1, followed two hitters later by another solo shot over the center field fence by Kendall Vedder.

Inagaki would then double to center and move to third on an infield single by Arkansas.

That brought up Acree, who hammered her second three-run homer of the day to make it 5-1.

Govs starter Kelsey Gross (1-0) would make the lead hold up, as the freshman only allowed two base hits over the final three innings to pick up her first collegiate win – scattering seven hits overall, while striking out two and walking two.

Austin Peay would add to its lead with two more runs in the sixth – in Mattson’s second home run of the game – while closing out the day with two runs in the seventh, including an RBI double by Allie Blackwood.

Austin Peay closes out play in the tournament on Sunday with two games versus Saint Louis, with a 9:00am scheduled first pitched.

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