APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s softball team dropped a pair of close Ohio Valley Conference decisions to Jacksonville State, Friday at Cheryl Holt Field at Joe and Cathi Maynard Softball Stadium, falling to the defending conference champions by 2-1 and 5-3 finals.
The Governors (24-14, 8-4 OVC) had their chances in both games versus the Gamecocks (22-17, 11-1 OVC), getting a great pitching performance in Game 1 from Morgan Rackel and a solid start from Kelsey Gross in the nightcap, but the offense left 13 runs on base, which proved to be their downfall in the two low-scoring contests.
The Govs are off until Wednesday, when they hit the road for a non-conference doubleheader at Samford.
Follow the Govs softball team on Austin Peay’s official athletics website Let’sGoPeay.com or on Twitter @AustinPeaySB for more information or updates.
Jacksonville State 2, Austin Peay 1
It was evident early-on that it would be a pitcher’s duel in the opening game of the day between the Govs and Gamecocks, with Rackel (12-6) striking out four of the first six hitters she faced on her way to an 11-strikeout performance, while giving up just six hits and one earned run.
But Jacksonville State would finally break the scoreless deadlock in the top of the third inning scoring on a two-out error by Austin Peay to go up 1-0.
Shorter would lead the Govs with two hits, while Rackel picked up the other Govs hit in Game 1.
But Austin Peay would see JSU score what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the seventh for the heart-breaking 2-1 loss.
Jacksonville State 5, Austin Peay 3
The nightcap would see Jacksonville State jump out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Austin Peay responded to take its only lead of the day in the bottom of the second, when Carly Mattson and Kendall Vedder scored on a throwing error by Jacksonville State.
The Gamecocks would tie the game 2-2 in the top of the third, before taking the lead for good in the fourth inning – scoring twice – to go up 4-2.
Austin Peay would cut the margin to one, 4-3, in the bottom of the inning on Mattson’s eighth home run of the season, but that would be as close as the Govs would get, as JSU tacked on a final run in the top of the seventh inning for the 5-3 final margin.
Kacy Acree would lead the Govs with two hits.
Inside the Box Score
The two JSU losses were the first time this season the Govs had dropped both ends of a doubleheader.
The home run hit by Carly Mattson in Game 2 was the Govs 40th of the year, setting a team single-season record for most home runs in a season.
The 11 strikeouts by Morgan Rackel marks the fifth time this season she has reached double-figures in strikeouts in a game.
Morgan Rackel now has 138 total strikeouts this season, the 10th most in a single season by a Govs pitcher in history.
Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Rodney DeLong
On missed chances
“I felt we put pressure on them every inning in Game 1 and just couldn’t make an adjustment at the plate and couldn’t get that extra hit to score runs. We had tons of chances and didn’t get it done, maybe one day we’ll learn how to get it done. They (Jacksonville State) know how to win and we don’t and that was the difference between the two teams today.”
On getting a few days off to heal up
“We’re going to take a couple of days off and try to regroup and refresh. We have some kids with nagging injuries and a couple of kids that got dinged up today, so hopefully we’ll use these days to recover so we can get back to work on getting better.”