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APSU Sports Information
Oxford, AL – Austin Peay State University’s softball team continues to add to its 2018 legacy with two more Ohio Valley Conference Championship Tournament wins, Friday, at Choccolocco Park, downing Morehead State, 1-0 — in 10 innings — before defeating Eastern Illinois, 3-1.
With the victories, Austin Peay (39-16) will finish no worst than third place in the tournament, its best finish ever in the tourney, while the three tournament wins are also a school record.
The Govs continue their OVC Softball Championship run, 10:00am, Saturday, facing the conference’s regular-season champion Eastern Kentucky in the third-place game, with a victory placing them in its first-ever OVC Championship Game versus Jacksonville State at 12:30pm.
The Govs will have to beat Jacksonville State twice Saturday to win the tournament title and earn the OVC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
You can follow all the Govs action at the OVC Softball Championships on the conference’s tournament website at http://ovcsports.com/sports/2017/6/15/2018softball.aspx or on Austin Peay’s official athletics website Let’sGoPeay.com or on Twitter @AustinPeaySB for more information or updates.
Morehead State recap
Junior Natalie Schilling opened the top of the 10th with a single up the middle–just the Govs third hit of the contest (Morgan Rackel and Carly Mattson had the other two APSU hits)–followed by junior Kacy Acree laying down a sacrifice bunt to move Schilling into scoring position.
But Morehead State pitcher Chelsea McManaway’s throw to first base was wild – going down into the right field corner – allowing Schilling to score all the away from first with what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Rackel, who came into the game in relief in the bottom of the seventh inning, struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th inning to seal the victory for the Govs.
Junior Kelly Mardones started in the circle for the Govs, throwing 6.1 shutout innings, giving up just five hits.
Eastern Illinois recap
Austin Peay jumped on Eastern Illinois (36-20) for two runs in the first inning, with Schilling opening things up with a one-out single, and, after stealing second base, scored on a double by Danielle Liermann.
That would be all the runs that Rackel (22-6) would need as she held the Panthers to just one run, while scattering nine hits in the complete-game victory. She would also walked two and fanned four.
Austin Peay’s final run came in the sixth inning on Mattson’s 12th home run of the year.
Inside the Box Score
Junior Morgan Rackel’s single in the top of the sixth inning versus Morehead State was the Govs 385th hit this season, setting a school record for single-season hits.
Junior outfielder Kacy Acree’s string of games reaching base ended at 30 with a 0-for-3 day versus EIU.
Morgan Rackel’s string of 36.2 shutout innings pitched ended on a run-scoring sacrifice fly by EIU in the sixth inning of the second-game contest.
Junior Danielle Liermann became the first APSU player to record 50 RBIs in a season with her RBI double in the first inning versus EIU.
In picking up two wins on Friday, Morgan Rackel now has 22 victories on the season, the second-most in a single season by a Govs pitcher. She passed Julee Stone (21, 1993) to move behind Angela Thompson (24, 1989).
With her stolen base versus EIU, Junior Natalie Schilling became the first APSU player to record 40 stolen bases in a season.
Natalie Schilling’s stolen base versus EIU was the teams 100th stolen base this season.
Coaching Quotables with Head Coach Rodney DeLong
On team’s fight and effort to stay in tournament
“Both of our pitchers were great today. They battled all day in the heat and kept us in both games when we weren’t hitting at all. They really carried us today.
“It started with Kelly (Mardones) extending the day in that first game. For us to have Morgan for the second game we had to have Kelly do exactly what she did in the first game. She was great.”
On doing the most with few hits
On what lies ahead on tournament’s final day
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Softball, APSU Sports, APSU Women's Softball, Austin Peay State University, Carly Mattson, Choccolocco Park, Danielle Liermann, Eagles, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, EIU, Jacksonville State, Kacy Acree, Kelly Mardones, Lady Govs, Morehead State, Morgan Rackel, Natalie Schilling, NCAA tournament, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Tournament, Oxford AL, Rodney DeLong
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