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APSU Softball gets wins over Bucknell and Mercer Friday

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU SoftballMacon,GA – The streaking Austin Peay State University softball team ran its current win streak to seven games, Friday at Sikes Field, winning both of its opening games at the Mercer Bears Classic – defeating Bucknell in its morning contest, 4-3, and host Mercer in its afternoon tilt, 7-1.

Austin Peay Softball gets two wins Friday to extend win streak to seven. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Softball gets two wins Friday to extend win streak to seven. (APSU Sports Information)

With the wins, the Governors improve to 13-7 on the season while extending their longest win streak since the 1997 season to seven games, when the program set the school record of 10 straight wins.

The Govs will continue play at the Bears Classic Saturday, with two more games and one time change from the original schedule.

Austin Peay will have a rematch with Bucknell at the original time of 9:00am, but its contest versus Rutgers has been pushed back to a 3:45pm first pitch instead of 11:15am.

Game 1

Austin Peay 4, Bucknell 3

The Governors scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to rally past Bucknell, 4-3, after the Bison had scored in the top of the inning to take its final lead of the game.

Natalie Schilling would open the inning with a single through the right side of the infield, her second hit of the game, and move to second when the Bucknell second baseman dropped a throw on Kacy Acree‘s ground ball.

After a fielder’s choice got Schilling to third base, she would score on a sacrifice fly by Morgan Rackel, with pinch runner Emily Moore moving to third.

A pitch later, Moore would race home with what turned out to be the game-winning run on a wild pitch by Bucknell.

Rackel (7-2) would take it from there, despite not having her best stuff, kept the Bison off the scoreboard in their final to at bats to preserve the 4-3 victory.

The left-hander would finish the game giving up eight hits and three runs – all earned – while striking out a season-low three hitters.

Austin Peay would jump out on top in the second inning on Bailey Shorter‘s second home run of the season

The score would remain that way until the top of the fourth, when Bucknell (8-13) hit the first of its two home runs in the game to take a 2-1 lead.

The Govs would answer right back in the bottom of the inning, tying the game 2-2, as they took advantage of three Bison error – including one that allowed Carly Mattson to score the tying run.

Bucknell would take its final lead in the top of the fifth inning on their second home run of the game – a solo shot.

Game 2

Austin Peay 7, Mercer 1

The Govs got great pitching performances from starter Kelly Mardones and Kelsey Gross in relief, as they limited the Bears to just one run on seven hits, while the Govs offense blasted four home runs – including two by Rackel — which tied the school single-game record.

Overall, Mardones (4-2) went the first five innings, giving up five hits and one run, while Gross closed out the game with two shutout innings of relief to pick up the save.

The Govs would get out to a 1-0 in the top of the third inning on a home run by Emily Moore, hitting the first pitch of the inning over the center field fence.

The Bears would tie the game with a home run of their own in the bottom of the fifth, but Austin Peay wouldn’t be denied, with Rackel crushing a two-run shot to center field in the top of the sixth to give the Govs the lead for good, 3-1.

Austin Peay would put the game away in the seventh, hitting two more tow-run homers, the first by Acree and two batters later Rackel blasting her second of the game.

Inside the Box Score

Morgan Rackel‘s two home runs versus Mercer is the first two-home run game for the Govs since Carly Mattson versus Samford on March 22nd, 2017.

Kelsey Gross‘ save versus Mercer was the first of her career.

The four home runs versus Mercer were a season high.

The win versus Bucknell was the first for the Govs this season when they were out hit by their opponent.

The 10 hits recorded by the Govs versus Mercer marks the sixth time this season they have collected at least 10 hits in a game.

Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Rodney DeLong

On how they won
“We really didn’t play well in the first game but kept grinding and found a way to win. The second game we played much better and it seemed like the longer we played the better we played. A month ago, we probably wouldn’t have won that first game, but we’re a team that continues to grow and get better.”

On current win streak
“We know we’re on a winning streak, but it doesn’t change anything. We just keep working and try to get better each time out and improve each time out.”

On keeping focus
“I think our focus is getting better, but more importantly I think they are getting more mentally confident and believing they are a good ball club.”


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