Cookeville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team took both ends of their Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader versus Tennessee Tech, Friday at Tech Softball Field, as they extended their season-best win streak to five games after grinding out a 4-3 victory in the opener before running away with a 12-0 final in the nightcap.
Austin Peay 4, Tennessee Tech 3
In a game that would go down to the last pitch, Austin Peay would break a 2-2 tie with the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth inning, aided by two Tennessee Tech errors, with Katie Keen reaching on a dropped pop-up by the Golden Eagles catcher, then come all the way around the bases on a wild throw by the catcher tying to throw out Keen.
The Govs would add what turned out to be a huge insurance run in the fifth, also aided by an error, as Lexi Osowski, who reached on a single, scored when the Tech left fielder dropped a fly ball off the bat of Kelsey Gross, making it 4-2.
Tennessee Tech would cut the Govs lead to one, 4-3, in the bottom of the fifth, but that would be as close as the Golden Eagles would get, as APSU starter Harley Mullins (5-5) retired four of the last five-hitter she faced before giving way to Gross, who picked up her second save of the season with a scoreless seventh inning.
Tennessee Tech had opened the game with a first-inning run to take an early lead, but the Govs answered right back in the top of the second, scoring twice to take the lead, on a double by Emily Harkleroad.
Harkleroad and Bailey Shorter led the Govs with two hits each.
The Golden Eagles would tie the game for the final time in the third, 3-3, before the Govs took the lead for good in the fourth.
Austin Peay 12, Tennessee Tech 0
W: GROSS, Kelsey (5-1) L: BRYSON,Haeli (5-4)
After scoring a single run in the top of the first inning, coming on a sacrifice fly by Harkleroad, the Govs all but put any question of who was going to win the game away in the second by sending up 11 batters in the frame and scoring seven times to pull away for an 8-0 advantage.
Emily Moore would get the inning going with a one-out bunt single, then get into scoring position by stealing second base.
Kelsey Gray would then reach on an infield single, followed by a double by Shorter to score both Moore and Gray to make it 3-0.
After a single by Brooke Pfefferle and Osowski reaching on a fielder’s choice to load the bases, Gross would drive in a run with a single to make it 4-0.
Tennessee Tech was about to get the next Gov out, for the second out of the inning, but Kendyl Weinzapfel followed with an RBI single for a 5-0 advantage.
The final three runs of the inning came on a throwing error by the Tech first baseman on a ball hit by Maddie Boykin that cleared the bases to put the Govs up by eight.
That would be more than enough for Gross (5-1), who picked up her second shutout of the season, limiting the Golden Eagles to just three hits, while striking out five.
The APSU Govs would add two more runs in the third on a Shorter home run and an RBI fielder’s choice by Gross, before closing out the game’s scoring with two final runs in the fourth on a double by Pfefferle, who finished the game with three hits.
Inside the Boxscore
The shutout by Kelsey Gross in Game 2 was her fifth career shutout, tying her for ninth place all-time in program history.
The save by Kelsey Gross in Game 1 was her 10th career save, tying her for 18th among all active NCAA Division I pitchers.
The 12 runs scored in Game 2 are a season single-game high for the Govs.
Junior Lexi Osowski extended her current hit streak to 10 straight games, tying for the 11th-longest hit streak by a Govs softball player since 2000.
Senior Katie Keen got her first career start in left field in Game 1.
Senior Kelsey Gray made her first two catching starts behind the plate since her freshman year, setting a career single-game high for putouts in Game 2, with five.
APSU Govs pitchers did not walk a batter in Game 2 versus Tennessee Tech, marking the first time since opening day of the 2021 season versus Mercer where they held the opposing team to zero walks.
Sophomore Alex Grubbs made her first collegiate appearance, coming as a pinch hitter in Game 2.
The first game of the doubleheader was Kassie Stanfill‘s 100th as head coach at Austin Peay State University.
Austin Peay State University has won the last seven games played versus Tennessee Tech.
Next Up for Austin Peay State University Softball
The Austin Peay State University softball team will look to make it two straight three-game OVC series sweeps in as many weekends, tomorrow, as they close out the series versus the Golden Eagles with a single game, starting at 1:00pm.