APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s softball team will conclude its 2018 home slate of games this coming weekend, at Cheryl Holt Field at Joe and Cathi Softball Stadium, by hosting Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois for a pair of Ohio Valley Conference doubleheaders.
The weekend’s action begins, 1:00pm, Saturday versus SIU Edwardsville and wraps-up, 1:00pm, Sunday with a match-up versus Eastern Illinois.
The Govs (29-15, 10-4 OVC) come into this weekend’s action having won its last four games, including two non-conference walk-off victories versus Alabama A&M this past Wednesday to guarantee its first winning season since 1993, while SIUE (20-15, 10-4 OVC) hasn’t played since splitting a doubleheader with Tennessee Tech last Sunday and Eastern Illinois (29-15, 8-6 OVC) has lost six of its last seven games – including a non-conference loss at Illinois on Wednesday.
As far as the two series go, the Austin Peay-SIUE series is one of the oldest all-time for the Govs – dating back to the program’s first season in 1986 – but with only 24 prior contests and APSU trailing in the series, 21-3.
The Austin Peay-Eastern Illinois series, on the other hand, dates to 1997 and is the seventh most-played series in APSU history with 63 total games played and the Govs trailing in the series, 50-13.
Offensively after 44 games this season, the Govs are batting .278 as a team — including five players hitting over .300 – led by junior third baseman Danielle Liermann, who enters the weekend hitting at a .365 clip, including a team-high 15 home runs and 46 RBIs.
She is followed by freshman outfielder Bailey Shorter (.347, 3 HR, 17 RBI), junior outfielder Natalie Schilling (.321, 37 R, 34 SB), junior outfielder Kacy Acree (.311, 6 HR, 27 RBI) and junior pitcher/outfielder Morgan Rackel (.307, 7 HR, 26 RBI.
In the circle, the Govs are led by Rackel’s 16-6 mark, which includes a 1.61 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 139.1 innings of work. She has also recorded two saves.
Junior Kelly Mardones has posted an 9-4 mark this season, with a 2.30 ERA and 29 k’s in 94.1 innings, while sophomore Kelsey Gross comes into the matchups with a 4-5 record, two saves, a 4.17 ERA and 38 k’s in 55.1 innings pitched.
Follow the Govs softball team on Austin Peay’s official athletics website Let’sGoPeay.com or on Twitter @AustinPeaySB for more information or updates.
Scouting the opponents
Southern Illinois Edwardsville
The Cougars are batting .277 as a team this season, with four players hitting above .300, led by Zoe Schafer’s .370 batting average, which includes a team high seven home runs and 21 runs batted in. Bailley Concatto (.346), Alyssa Heren (.336) and Tess Eby (.305) are the other SIUE .300+ hitters.
In the circle, Emily Ingles has been the Cougars top hurler, with a 14-7 record, a 2.17 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 135.2 innings of work.
The Panthers top all OVC schools in team batting average, coming into the weekend, hitting .286 as a team and are led by Haley Mitchell’s .435 batting average, which includes team highs in doubles (15), home runs (11) and RBIs (53). Kayla Bear (.335), Megan Burton (.324) and Mia Davis (.312) are also hitting above .300 on the season for EIU.
In the circle, EIU has one of the better pitching duo’s in the OVC in Jessica Wireman and Michele Rogers. Wireman is 13-9 this season, with a 2.30 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 152.1 innings, while Rogers is 14-5 with a 3.25 ERA and 74 k’s in 110 innings pitched.
Junior outfielder Kacy Acree has a string of reaching base in 20 straight games, the third longest much streak by an Austin Peay softball player since 2000.
Junior Morgan Rackel’s 16 wins this year are the fifth-most in a single season by a Govs pitcher all-time.
Only Natasha Anderson (four times) and Angela Thompson (three times) have struck out more hitters in a season for the Govs than Morgan Rackel’s 163 this season.
One victory this weekend will guarantee the Govs their first winning record at home in a season since 2007.
Natalie Schilling’s 34 stolen bases are more than Belmont (31), Morehead State (31) and Tennessee Tech (21) have as a team this season.
SIUE (120) and Austin Peay (121) rank one and two In the OVC in allowing the fewest runs to an opponent this season.