Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) will face Eastern Kentucky to open play at the Ohio Valley Conference Softball Championship, 5:00pm, Thursday, May 13th at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, Alabama, looking to claim its first-ever OVC title.
The Governors (27-14, 22-11 OVC) will be the tournament’s No. 3 seed, while the Colonels (32-15, 22-9 OVC) are the tournament’s No. 2 seed.
Joining the Govs and Colonels in the double-elimination tournament, are the tournament’s No. 1 seed Southeast Missouri Redhawks (28-15, 23-6 OVC) and fourth-seeded Jacksonville State Gamecocks (23-23, 21-13 OVC).
Austin Peay State University posted a 5-3 combined record versus teams in the tournament this spring, going 2-0 versus EKU, 2-1 versus JSU and 1-2 versus SEMO.
Heading into the post season, the APSU Govs are led offensively by junior All-OVC First Team third baseman Lexi Osowski (.433, 5 HR, 26 RBI), senior shortstop Brooke Pfefferle (.337, 2 HR, 17 RBI) and senior center fielder Bailey Shorter (.315, 4 HR, 20 RBI).
In the circle, the Govs pitching staff is led by senior All-OVC Second Team selection Kelsey Gross, who is 9-2 this season, with two shutouts, four saves, a 2.08 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 77.1 innings of work.
She is followed by OVC Freshman of the Year and All-OVC Second Team pick Jordan Benefiel (8-6, 1.70 ERA, 77 K’s), junior Harley Mullins (8-5, 5.14 ERA, 50 K’s) and sophomore Shelby Harpe (2-0, 4.13 ERA, 9 K’s).
APSU Hit and Run
This is Austin Peay State University’s third-straight appearance in the OVC Championship Tournament and 13th time overall.
The APSU Govs have a 5-4 record in their previous two OVC Tournaments played at Choccolocco Park.
Austin Peay State University is 5-1 in neutral-site games this season.
The Govs tournament-opening game on Thursday will be the APSU Govs first game played on a Thursday this season.
The Governors senior class enter the tournament having won 110 games in their careers, the most by any senior class in program history.
Austin Peay State University has committed the fewest errors by an OVC team this season, with 38.
Jordan Benefiel has given up the fewest runs by a qualifying pitcher in the OVC this season, with 23.
Kelsey Gross is tied for the most saves by an OVC pitcher this season, with four.
Brett Jackson has thrown out a OVC co-leading 12 base stealers this season.
Kelsey Gross recorded her 41st RBI last weekend, becoming just the third player in the program’s 36-year history to drive in at least 40 runs in a season.