Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team will make the trek down Interstate 40 to Cookeville and Tennessee Tech this weekend to play a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series, in a battle of teams separated by just a half a game in the league standings.
The two teams will open play, 2:00pm, Friday at the Tech Softball Field with a doubleheader and conclude the series on Saturday with a 1:00pm single game.
APSU (13-8, 8-6 OVC) come into the matchup with some momentum, having swept a three-game conference series versus Belmont last weekend, while Tennessee Tech (13-14, 7-6 OVC) lost a mid-week OVC doubleheader at Jacksonville State on Wednesday.
Austin Peay State University is led offensively by junior third baseman Lexi Osowski (.456, 2 HR, 14 RBI), who took over the lead in the OVC standings in batting average after going 11-of-15 at the plate in five games last week.
Senior shortstop Brooke Pfefferle is also hitting above .400, coming in at .429 this season, including two doubles, a triple, and a home run to go with nine runs scored and six RBIs.
Three other Govs are hitting over .300 after 21 games this season, starting with senior outfielder Bailey Shorter (.349, 2 HR, 12 RBI), senior second baseman Drew Dudley (340, 2 HR, 7 RBI and senior pitcher/first baseman Kelsey Gross (.306, 1 HR, 20 RBI).
The Golden Eagles enter the weekend with three players hitting above .300 so far this season led by Sydney Love-Baker (.333, 1 HR, 12 RBI), followed by Beth McCulley (.333, 0 HR, 9 RBI) and Nicolle Nysted (.319, 6 HR, 15 RBI).
In the circle, the Govs pitching staff was led by freshman Jordan Benefiel (5-2, 1.18 ERA, 41 K’s), who leads the conference in ERA and opponents’ batting average against (.172) coming into the weekend.
She is followed by Gross, who is 4-1 this season, including a shutout, a save, a 2.94 ERA, and 26 strikeouts in 35.2 innings of work, while junior Harley Mullins is 4-5, including a shutout and two saves.
Tennessee Tech’s pitching staff is led by Alyssa Arden (7-7, 2.98 ERA, 61 K’s) and Haeli Bryson (5-3, 2.61 ERA, 34 K’s).
APSU Govs Hit and Run
The opening game of the weekend series between Austin Peay State University and Tennessee Tech will be the 99th all-time between the two schools.
Drew Dudley enters the weekend with a nine-game hitting streak.
Jordan Benefiel comes into the series having thrown back-to-back three-hit shutouts, while not allowing a run overall in her last 15 innings pitched.
Bailey Shorter’s three triples tie for the most by an individual player in the OVC this season.
Senior catcher Brett Jackson is batting .385 over her last nine games.
The opening game of the weekend series will be Kassie Stanfill‘s 100th as head coach at Austin Peay State University.