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APSU Softball sweeps Alabama A&M Wednesday afternoon

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU SoftballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s softball team won in walk-off fashion twice versus Alabama A&M, Wednesday afternoon at Cheryl Holt Field at Joe and Cathi Maynard Softball Stadium, as the Governors came away with 1-0 and 3-2 victories over the Bulldogs.

Austin Peay Softball starter Kelly Mardones pitched five scoreless innings against Alabama A&M, Wednesday. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Softball starter Kelly Mardones pitched five scoreless innings against Alabama A&M, Wednesday. (APSU Sports Information)

The wins improve the Govs record to 29-15 this spring and guarantees Austin Peay will finish above .500 this season for the first time since 1993, when they finished that campaign 28-22 overall.

The Govs return to Ohio Valley Conference play this Saturday and Sunday, as they host Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois for a pair of doubleheaders.

Follow the Govs softball team on Austin Peay’s official athletics website Let’sGoPeay.com or on Twitter @AustinPeaySB for more information or updates.

Box Score

Game 1

Austin Peay 1, Alabama A&M 0

2018 APSU Softball - Kelly MardonesGovs starter Kelly Mardones and Alabama A&M’s Imani Largin matched scoreless innings early-on, as the pair put up zeros on the scoreboard into the fifth inning, before Mardones was lifted for Morgan Rackel with one out in the top of the sixth inning.

The game would remain scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but Kacy Acree‘s two-out single up the middle scoring Emily Harkleroad from second base with the game-winning run.

Acree and Bailey Shorter would both finish Game 1 with two hits each, while Rackel and Brooke Pfefferle had the other two APSU hits.

Rackel (16-6) picked up the win in relief, throwing the final 1.2 innings and striking out four of the five batters she faced.

Game 2

Austin Peay 3 Alabama A&M 2

2018 APSU Softball - Kelsey GrossThe Govs trailing the Bulldogs (19-17) 2-1 heading into their final at bat, but Kelsey Gross got the rally going with a one-out infield single – with Erica Inagaki coming in to pinch run.

An error by Alabama A&M, on an Emily Moore bunt, would put runners at first and third — with one out – followed by Moore stealing second base to get into scoring position.

Acree would tie the game 2-2 on a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Inagaki, with Moore moving to third base and Bailey Shorter stepping to the plate.

2018 APSU Softball - Bailey ShorterShorter would end the game two pitches later with a single to center that scored Moore and sealed the sweep.

Rackel would earn her second win of the day in relief, going the final 1.2 innings, giving up no runs on two hits and striking out four.

Alabama A&M had taken a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and third innings, with Austin Peay scoring its first run of the nightcap, in the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 2-1, on a sacrifice fly by Gross that brought in Natalie Schilling.

Inside the Box Score

The two wins give the Govs 29 victories this season, the second-most wins in a single season in program history.

The Govs are 14 games over .500 in a season for only the second time in school history, with the other instance coming back on April 17th, 1989 when the Govs were 27-13.

The 1-0 final in Game 1 was the 11th shutout the season for APSU pitching, tying the 1993 squad for the second-most total shutouts in a single season.

The walk-off wins were the first for Austin Peay since April 10th, 2016, when APSU had a walk-off win versus Tennessee State.

Austin Peay has won the last 16 meeting with Alabama A&M.

Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Rodney DeLong

On coming away with unconventionally wins
“The two wins today weren’t necessarily the way you draw then up, and we didn’t help ourselves offensively today, but there were some positives in Morgan (Rackel), Kelly (Mardones) and Kelsey (Gross) all pitching good and giving us a chance to win the games and we found a way to win them.”

On taking advantage of late mistakes
“Today came down to who was going to make the last mistake. They made it and we capitalized on it. Good teams do that.”

On getting ready for final home OVC weekend
“SIUE and Eastern Illinois both bring a big challenges and these next two days of practice we’re really going to have to prepare and have better practices. We’ve tried to heal-up and get our legs back under us the last 10 days or so, but these next two days we’re going to practice and prepare and hopefully come out and play better Saturday and Sunday than we did today.”

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