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APSU Softball falls to Evansville, gets Shutout win over Western Kentucky at Hilltopper Spring Fling Tournament


APSU Sports Information

APSU SoftballBowling Green, KY – Morgan Rackel picked up her first NCAA Division I shutout, Friday afternoon at the WKU Softball Complex, as the Austin Peay State University’s softball team picked up a 5-0 victory over tournament host Western Kentucky, that followed an opening loss to Evansville that morning, 4-1.

Any shut is impressive, but Rackel (3-2) held a WKU team off the board, which came in averaging 7.5 runs per game and a .349 team batting average.

Austin Peay Softball beats Western Kentucky 5-0 Friday afternoon in Bowling Green, KY. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Softball beats Western Kentucky 5-0 Friday afternoon in Bowling Green, KY. (APSU Sports Information)

Overall, the junior lefthander scattered six Hilltopper hits, while walking three and striking out four in the complete-game victory.

The Govs (4-6) next game will be Saturday morning, 10:00am, versus Dayton, with a second game that afternoon – opponent and time to be decided after the completion of the round-robin part of the tournament.

Follow the Govs softball team on Austin Peay’s official athletics website Let’ or on Twitter @AustinPeaySB.

Game 1

Evansville 4, Austin Peay 1
The Govs would break-up the Evansville shutout in the top of the seventh inning with Natalie Schilling, who reached on a one-out single, scoring from third base when a flyball to center field was dropped by the Purple Aces.

The Govs would have several chances to score earlier in the contest, putting runners in scoring position in each of the second, fifth and sixth innings, but strikeouts ended all three threats APSU had mounted.

Overall, Governors would strikeout 18 times in the loss.

Evansville would score single runs in each of their first three at bats, while tacking on a final run in the bottom of the sixth.

Emily Harkleroad would led the Govs with two hits, while Schilling, Kacy Acree, Bailey Shorter and Brooke Pfefferle all recorded one hit each.

Game 2

Austin Peay 5, Western Kentucky 0
While Rackel was throwing a gem in the circle, to help the Govs pick up their first win at the Spring Fling Tournament, the Govs offense finally got untracked after a slow start in the tournament’s opener that morning with four extra-base hits accounting for all their runs scored – including three balls that left the yard.

The Govs took advantage of a lead-off walk to Kendall Vedder to open the top of the third, with Pfefferle ripping a ball over the left fielder’s head to score Vedder all the way around from first for a 1-0 lead.

An out later, Kacy Acree, who missed last weekend’s tournament with the flu, blasted her first home run of the season over the center field fence to make it 3-0.

The score would remain that way until the top of the sixth, when Danielle Liermann hit a towering shot off the fourth tier of the parking garage behind left field to make it 4-0 Govs.

Austin Peay’s final run would also come by the long ball, with Carly Mattson rifling a shot out over the center field fence.

Inside the Box Score

Govs have beaten Western Kentucky in three out of their last four meetings after only winning twice in their first matchups.

Govs tied a season single-game high with five RBIs vs. Western Kentucky.

Danielle Liermann and Brooke Pefferle have reached base at least once in all 10 games played by the Govs this season.

Liermann’s home versus WKU moves her alone into fifth-place on the programs’ all-time home run list, now with 21 career homers.

Govs left a season-high 10 runners on base versus Evansville.

Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Rodney DeLong

On Morgan Rackel‘s shutout
“I’m extremely proud of Morgan’s effort out there today and the way she competed, batted and kept their hitters off balance. She is very strong minded pitcher and that helps her be so consistent.”

On breaking out of offensive funk
“We were gritty in the second game at the plate. You’re going to have bad days sometimes, but you have to step up when you have key at bats.

“Danielle (Liermann) didn’t have a great day today, but that last at bat she hit a ball about as far as I’ve ever seen hit. Kacy (Acree) had a big at bat when we needed it. We may not have had a lot of hits, but we had key hits.”

On moving forward in the tournament
“We have to come out ready to play tomorrow (Saturday), because no win is coming easy for us. Each game is a dog fight.”




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