MOBILE, Ala. – Austin Peay State University opened the 2014 regular season, Friday afternoon at the University of South Alabama Mardi Gras Invitational, by splitting its first two games –coming away with a 7-3 win over McNeese State in Game 1, but fell to Syracuse in the nightcap 9-0 in six innings.
In Game 1, the Lady Govs (1-1) trailed the Cowgirls 2-1 after three innings of play, but scored in each of the last four innings of play – including a three-run burst in the seventh – to come away with the four-run win.
Senior Kayla Davidson would put Austin Peay up for good, 3-2, with a RBI double in the top of the fifth inning, driving in junior Christina Beam – who opened the inning with a single and moved into scoring position when freshman Rikki Arkansas drew a walk.
The Lady Govs would add an unearned run of the sixth, to make it 4-2, before pulling away with three runs in the seventh.
Austin Peay would add the final run off an error by McNeese State (1-1) shortstop Katie Roux.
Senior Lauren de Castro got the win going four-plus innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Hooper relieved de Castro in the fifth, earning the save, going the final three innings giving up a solo home run in the seventh.
Austin Peay had taken an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, with Davidson opening the game by blasting a 1-2 pitch out over the right field fence.
McNeese State would answer back with a tying run in the bottom of the inning, then took a 2-1 lead with a run in the bottom of the third.
The Lady Govs would tie the game, 2-2, in the fourth inning with an RBI double by sophomore Mel Pavel, driving in de Castro – who opened the inning with an infield single and moved into scoring position at second base on a passed ball.
In the nightcap versus Syracuse (1-0), Austin Peay fell behind early against the Orange giving up two runs in the first and three more in the second.
That would be more than enough runs to pick up the win with Syracuse starting pitcher Sydney O’Hara no-hitting the Lady Govs, giving up a walk to de Castro and hitting Pavel with a pitch.
The score would remain 5-0 that way until the sixth, when the Orange scored four runs to go up 9-0 and end the game in six innings.
Austin Peay continues play in the invitational on Saturday with a 9:00 a.m. rematch versus McNeese State, followed by an 11:15 a.m., contest versus Alabama-Birmingham.
The invitational ends on Sunday.