Charleston, IL – Austin Peay State University (APSU) softball center fielder Bailey Shorter came up big both at the plate and in the field in the final inning versus Eastern Illinois, Sunday afternoon at Williams Field, as the Governors swept the Panthers in their three-game Ohio Valley Conference series by taking the finale, 2-1.
Harkleroad moved to second on a ground ball by Morgan Zuege and was still in scoring position after the Panthers (21-26, 6-14 OVC) recorded the second out of the inning, bringing up Shorter.
On a 1-0 count, Shorter rifled a single down the right-field line, scoring Harkleroad with the go-ahead run, putting the Govs up, 2-1.
APSU starter Jordan Benefiel (11-7), who headed into the bottom of the inning needing three outs for the complete-game win, got the first batter of the inning on strikes, bringing up the top of the Panthers lineup.
Morgan Lewis looked to have a sure hit into the gap for extra bases for EIU, but Shorter came out of nowhere, laying out for a diving catch taking the ball just off the top of the grass for the second out of the inning.
Benefiel, who only allowed one run on a walk and four hits, while striking out two, got the final out on a comebacker to seal the 2-1 victory and the series sweep.
Austin Peay State University had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the second with Kylie Campbell, Mea Clark and Harkleroad all drawing walks to load the bases, with two outs.
Zuege would drive in Campbell with a slow roller to shortstop, beating the throw to first.
The Panthers would tie the game in the bottom of the third, 1-1, on two singles and a passed ball.
Inside the Boxscore
Austin Peay State University extended its season-long win streak to five games.
The three-game sweep was the first for the Governors over the Panthers in the series history.
With her two hits, Lexi Osowski moved past Amanda Travis (1996-99) for fifth all-time in career hits, with 185.
The game-winning RBI for Bailey Shorter was her third of the season and the 15th of her career.
The APSU Govs have only allowed six runs over their current five-game win streak, holding opponents to a .204 batting average.
Next Up For APSU Softball
The Austin Peay State University softball team returns home to Cathi Maynard Park-Cheryl Holt Field this Wednesday to play host to Murray State for an Ohio Valley Conference mid-week doubleheader.
For news and updates on everything APSU softball, follow along on Twitter (@GovsSB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.