MARTIN, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University’s softball team had leads in both Ohio Valley Conference games, Friday, but saw Tennessee Martin rally in both for 8-5 and 4-3 wins, at Bettye Giles Field.
In Game 1, Austin Peay (10-15, 1-6 OVC) would see the Skyhawks take advantage of two early walks to score three times in the bottom of the first inning.
Austin Peay starter Lauren de Castro retired the leadoff hitter to start the inning, but she followed that with back-to-back walks.
After the Lady Govs gained the inning's second out, Lauren Smith blasted a shot over the left-center field fence for her season's seventh home run to give the Skyhawks (22-9, 6-2 OVC) the 3-0 advantage.
Austin Peay answered right back in the top of the next inning, with de Castro leading off with a single followed by Kayla Davidson reaching on an error.
The Lady Govs gained their first lead in the third with Marissa Lake leading off the inning with a single and, after moving around to third on a sacrifice and a deep fly ball, scored on a UT Martin error, giving APSU a 4-3 advantage.
The Skyhawks tied the game 4-4 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI triple by Kayla Wade, scoring Mikala Torrence, who had reached on a single.
The score remained that way until the top of the sixth inning when the Lady Govs took a 5-4 lead on a Norton two-out single that drove in de Castro, who had opened the inning with an infield single.
Norton, de Castro and Lake had two hits each for the Lady Govs.
But Austin Peay wasn’t able to maintain the advantage as UT Martin scored four runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth inning to go up for good 8-5.
In Game 2, a first-inning error and walk set the table for the Skyhawks to go up quickly. Kenzi Tate and Lauren Smith picked up RBI singles.
Austin Peay tied the game 2-2 in the top of the second, aided by two UT Martin errors. Davidson opened the inning with a single and moved to second when, on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Pavel, the throw to get the lead runner was misplayed, with both runners being safe.
The Skyhawks made a second error on Norton's ensuing sacrifice, allowing Davidson to score from second.
Pavel then scored the second run on a Abby Guest infield groundout.
Austin Peay took a 3-2 lead in the third inning on an RBI single by de Castro, driving in Jessica Ryan, who opened the inning with a single.
Ryan was perfect at the plate nightcap, finishing with two singles and two walks. The lead would be short lived.
Leah Taylor led off the Skyhawks third with her season's fourth home run to tie the game. Tate followed with a double, and two batters later, scored on a single by Becca Williams to give the Skyhawks a 4-3 lead, an advantage they would never relinquish.
The two teams will conclude their three-game series Saturday, starting at noon.