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HomeSports2017-18 Top-10 -- No. 5: APSU Softball has season for the ages

2017-18 Top-10 — No. 5: APSU Softball has season for the ages

APSU Sports Information

APSU SoftballClarksville, TN – With a third head coach in four seasons taking over, it was tough to get a bead on the potential for Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball’s chances prior to the season.

It would’ve been difficult to suspect that the best season in program history was getting ready to kick off.

Austin Peay Softball pitcher Morgan Rackel. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Softball pitcher Morgan Rackel. (APSU Sports Information)

By season’s end, records had been set for wins (39), longest winning streak (12 games), All-OVC honors (six), hits (405) and home runs (51) as the Govs not only made a triumphant return to the OVC Tournament for the first time since 2007, they were a contender to the end, reaching the semifinal round and finishing third overall after regular-season runner-up honors.

It marked quite a turnaround for a program that had lingered in the doldrums of the OVC for most of a decade.

Never before had Austin Peay swept the season series against Murray State, SIU Edwardsville, Eastern Illinois or UT Martin, yet the Govs combined to go 10-0 against those programs this year. Never before had the Govs swept an in-season tournament, yet they posted a 4-0 mark at the Buccaneer Classic to win the event. It was a season rife with the phrase “first time,” “best-ever,” and “all-time high.”

April 29th in particular will go down in Austin Peay softball lore as a date not to be forgotten. On that day, Morgan Rackel cemented her status as OVC Pitcher of the Year by tossing the program’s first no-hitter in 21 years in Game One of a doubleheader against Eastern Illinois, while the 11-5 win in Game Two broke the program record with win No. 33 and guaranteed Austin Peay a spot in the OVC Tournament.

This standout campaign culminated in a long-awaited event for Austin Peay—its first national postseason tournament appearance in program history with a bid in the National Invitational Softball Championship. Though the Govs got bounced after two games, the experience will be invaluable going forward as Austin Peay seeks to establish a long-term softball powerhouse in Clarksville.

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