Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball team will open its 2022 regular season schedule this weekend at the Barbara Williams Softball Complex in Montgomery, Alabama, as it participates in the Alabama State Stinger Classic.
Austin Peay State University will be joined in the classic by host Alabama State, Purdue Fort Wayne, and the College of Charleston.
Austin Peay State University, under the direction of fourth-year head coach Kassie Stanfill, is coming off a 2021 season where it posted a 27-16 overall record, including a 22-11 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play, and are picked to finish second in the OVC preseason poll.
The APSU Govs return four .300+ hitters from last season, led by senior third baseman Lexi Osowski, who earned All-OVC First Team honors in 2021 after leading the conference with a .425 batting average.
Also returning are super seniors Brooke Pfefferle (shortstop) and Bailey Shorter (center field), who batted .327 and .326 respectively last year, while senior utility player Emily Harkleroad (.304) rounds out the quartet.
In the circle, the APSU Govs return two of its three primary starters from 2021, led by sophomore Jordan Benefiel, who posted an 8-7 record last season, with a 2.03 ERA, one save, three shutouts and 80 strikeouts in 82.2 inning pitched and earned OVC Freshman of the Year honors.
She is joined by senior Harley Mullins, who finished 2021 with an 8-6 record to go with two saves and a 5.21 ERA along with 51 strikeouts in a team most 96.2 innings pitched.
Scouting the Opposition
Purdue Fort Wayne
The Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons, of the Horizon League, return nine players from its 2021 squad that finished with a 12-27 record, but also have three NCAA Division I transfers among 10 total newcomers on this year’s roster.
The Alabama State Hornets, of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, return 12 letter winners from its 2021 team that finished the season 19-29, but won the conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. They are picked to repeat in their conference’s 2022 preseason poll and did receive a vote in the National Softball Coaches Association’s Top 25 preseason Coaches Poll.
College of Charleston
The College of Charleston Cougars, of the Colonial Athletic Association, return 15 letterwinners from in 2021 squad that finished the season at 6-35. They are picked to finish seventh in their conference’s preseason poll.
APSU Govs In Between The Lines
Austin Peay State University softball Head coach Kassie Stanfill needs four wins to move into a tie with former head coach Jim Perrin for 4th all-time in career wins at APSU, with 75.
Senior third baseman Lexi Osowski enters the season 12th among all current Division I softball players with a .414 career batting average.
Five freshmen could make their collegiate debuts this weekend, with Raylon Roach (outfielder), Reese Calhoun (utility), Kylie Campbell (catcher), Samantha Miener (pitcher) and Skylar Sheridan (infielder) putting on the Govs uniform for the first time.
Senior utility player Emily Harkleroad enters the 2022 season having recorded hits in her last seven games in 2021.
Next Up For APSU Softball
The Austin Peay State University softball team heads to the Sunshine State for the first time since the 2010 season, as it travels to Fort Myers, Florida, next weekend to play in the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational, where they will face Memphis, Boston College, and tournament host Florida Gulf Coast.
For news and updates on everything Governors softball, follow along on Twitter (@GovsSB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.