Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team saw its season-long win streak reach eight games after sweeping an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader versus Murray State, Tuesday afternoon at Cathi Maynard Park-Cheryl Holt Field, as the Govs outlasted the Racers 4-3 in 10 innings in the opener, before pulling away for a 12-6 victory in the nightcap.
The two wins versus Murray State also put the Govs alone in third place in the OVC standings, one game behind second-place Eastern Kentucky and two games back of league leader Southeast Missouri.
Austin Peay 4, Murray State 3 (10 innings)
W: GROSS, Kelsey (7-1) L: VEBER, Jenna (5-9)
Emily Moore’s two-out single down the third baseline in the bottom of the 10th inning proved to be the game-winner in extra innings for the Govs (18-8, 13-6 OVC), with the two teams seeing three ties and three lead changes during the first six innings of play.
Murray State (14-21, 11-8 OVC) scored first in the top of the first, to take a quick 1-0 lead, but the Govs responding with a run of its own in the bottom of the innings on a single by Kelsey Gross that drove in Bailey Shorter, who opened the inning with a walk.
The Racers would retake the lead, 2-1, with a run in the third, with Austin Peay tying the game, 2-2, in the fifth, on an RBI double by Lexi Osowski, scoring Brooke Pfefferle.
Murray State would take its last lead in the top of the sixth, 3-2, with APSU answering back in the bottom of the inning, as Kendyl Weinzapfel scored off a Murray State error knotting the score, 3-3.
Gross (7-1) got the win in relief for Austin Peay, coming in to take over for Govs starter Harley Mullins and throwing four shutout innings, allowing one hit and strikeout out two.
Austin Peay 12, Murray State 6
W: MULLINS, Harley (6-5) L: JAMES, Hannah (5-8)
The nightcap would see Austin Peay jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on Gross’ third home run of the year in the first inning, also scoring Osowski, but then saw Murray State explode for six runs in the top of the third inning, as the Racers sent 11 batters to the plate, to take a 6-2 lead.
The Govs would cut into the deficit in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs on Osowski’s fourth home run of the season, which also scored Pfefferle, making it 6-4 Racers.
But it was the bottom of the fourth inning that was the turning point for the Govs, as they matched the earlier six-run inning by Murray State with one of their own to go up 10-6.
Kelsey Gray would get the inning started with a one-out single, followed by a walk to Shorter.
After a Murray State pitching change, Pfefferle would walk to load the bases and bring up Osowski, the team’s leading hitter.
Osowski would hit a grounder to the Racers shortstop, who’s throw home to get Gray was wide allowing her to score.
That would be more than enough support for Mullins (6-5), who started the game and along with Gross — who came in to pitch the final two innings – while the Racers scoreless over the game’s final four innings.
The Govs would add two insurance runs in the sixth inning, on a single by McMahon, for the 12-6 final margin.
Inside the Boxscore
The two wins give this year’s senior class 101 total in their careers, the most by any senior class in school history.
Emily Moore’s game-winning, walk-off base hit was the first by a Gov since Brooke Pfefferle’s 10th inning RBI single versus Bradley on March 6, 2020.
The win by Kelsey Gross in Game 1 was her 28th career victory, tying her with Stacey Hrabota (1994-96) for eighth-most in program history.
Lexi Osowski extended her current hit streak to 13 straight games, tying for the third-longest such streak by a Govs softball player since 2000.
Austin Peay as a team has recorded 10+ hits in six of their last seven games.
Emily Harkleroad tied her career single-game high with four hits in Game 2.
Kelsey Gross tied her single-game career-best with four RBIs in Game 2.
Morgan McMahon set a career single-game high for RBIs with four in Game 2.
Lexi Osowski’s four runs scored in Game 2 was a career single-game best.
The extra-inning game in Game 1 was the first extra-inning game of the season for the Govs.