Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team improved its record to 6-1 on its current homestand with two Ohio Valley Conference victories over Tennessee State, Saturday at Cathi Maynard Park-Cheryl Holt Field, as the Govs edged the Tigers 6-5 in the opener before shutting them out in the nightcap, 8-0.
The Govs (22-9, 17-7 OVC) and Tigers (8-26, 4-20 OVC) will conclude their three-game OVC series tomorrow, with a single game that has been moved up to a noon start from its original 1:00pm first pitch.
Austin Peay 6, Tennessee State 5
W: GROSS, Kelsey (8-2) L: KING, Francys (3-4)
The Govs saw the Tigers jump out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning in Game 1, as TSU’s leadoff hitter opened the game with a home run, with TSU adding the second run on a single four batters later.
TSU would hit its third home run of the game in the fourth to take its final lead of the game, 5-3, with Austin Peay matching that homer with one of its own – also a two-run homer – by Dudley, that also scored Emily Harkleroad, to tie the game, 5-5.
The Govs would score what would be the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth, coming on a ground out by Shorter to score Kendyl Weinzapfel.
Kelsey Gross (8-2) got the win in relief, coming into the game in the top of the first and throwing the final 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on three hits while walking two and striking out three.
Austin Peay 8, Tennessee State 0 (5 inns.)
W: BENEFIEL, Jordan (7-2) L: LOVELESS, Raven (2-13)
Game 2 was all Austin Peay right from the start, as the Govs send 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, recording six hits and scoring seven runs.
Shorter, Pfefferle, and Osowski would open the back with back-to-back-to-back singles, with Osowski’s driving in shorter for the first run of the game.
Gross would then draw a walk to load the bases, followed by a run-scoring single by Harkleroad and a two-run single by Dudley, to make it 4-0.
After TSU recorded the first out of the inning, Harkleroad would score the next run by stealing home on the backside of a double steal with Dudley, making it 5-0.
After TSU recorded the first out of the inning, Weinzapfel would draw a walk, followed by Gray singling to the pitcher, who threw wildly to first base in her attempt to get her out allowing Dudley to score.
The final run of the inning would come in on a sacrifice fly by Pfefferle, scoring Weinzapfel for the 7-0 lead.
That would be more than enough for Govs starter Jordan Benefiel (7-2) as the freshman shutout the Tigers on three hits while striking out eight and walking none.
The final run of the game came in the fifth inning, with Weinzapfel – who had reached on a double – scored when TSU dropped a fly ball then made a bad throw that allowed her to scamper home.
Inside the Boxscore
Kelsey Gross became the 11th pitcher in program history to record 200 career strikeouts, with her final strikeout in Game 1.
Jordan Benefiel tied the school’s record for shutouts by a freshman pitcher, with her third of the season.
With her second-inning double in Game 1, Brooke Pfefferle becomes the 38th Gov all time to reach 100 career hits.
With the win in Game 1, Kelsey Gross ties Carol Gray (1987-90) for 7th all-time in career wins in program history, with 29.
Drew Dudley tied her career single-game high with three RBIs in Game 1.
The Govs 12 wins this season at Cathi Maynard Park-Cheryl Holt Field tie for the most in a single season at this facility.