NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University’s softball team scored four times in its final at bat in Game 1 and three times in Game 2, Saturday afternoon, as the Lady Govs swept Belmont, 9-5 and 3-1, in an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader played at E.S. Rose Park.
Lauren de Castro’s grand-slam in the top of the eighth inning in Game 1 rallied the Lady Govs (15-22, 6-13 OVC) to the victory in the opener -- after Belmont had scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game 5-5 -- while two Bruins errors opened the door to three seventh-inning runs in the nightcap after Austin Peay trailed 1-0 entering its final at bat.
In the opener, Jessica Ryan started the eighth inning with a double and two outs later was standing on third base following back-to-back walks to Kayla Davidson and Laurel Burroughs, setting up de Castro’s heroics.
Game 1 began well for the Lady Govs with Davidson hitting the game's fourth pitch over the right field fence for her season's fifth homer and a quick APSU 1-0 lead.
Belmont (13-28, 3-15 OVC) threaten to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the second inning, loading the bases with no outs. But Austin Peay escaped the jam by turning the program's second triple play in school history – the first came during the 2003 season.
Kimberly Johnson flied out to short left and Marissa Lake’s throw back to the infield forced the runner back to third. But the runner on second base had taken off for third and Shelby Norton, who cut off the throw, then threw to Davidson who tagged out Jessica Wilson for the second out on the play.
While Wilson was being tagged out, Mia Verra , who was on third, broke for home and the throw to the plate by Davidson was in plenty of time, with catcher Mel Pavel applying the tag for the third out.
The Lady Govs added two more runs in the top of the fourth, with de Castro and Pavel opening the inning with back-to-back doubles, with Pavel’s driving in de Castro to make it 2-0.
The double by de Castro was the first of first of four hits the junior had in the opening game.
Pavel, Davidson, Norton and Ryan had two hits each for Austin Peay.
The Lady Govs added what turned out to be two key insurance runs in the fifth inning to go up 5-0, with de Castro driving in Burroughs with a single and later scoring on an error by Belmont second baseman Kerbie Ferrell.
But the Bruins finally got to Lady Govs starting pitcher de Castro in the seventh, scoring five runs on four hits, highlighted by Kat Hollingsworth's game-tying two-run homer.
Guest (2-3) relieved de Castro on the mound after the homer and got the Lady Govs out of the seventh inning before pitching a shutout eighth to pick up the win.
In Game 2, Belmont took its only lead of the day with a run in the bottom of the second inning as Hollingsworth scored on a two-out infield single by Jordan Daly.
The score would remain that way until the top of the seventh inning.
Amanda De Vries re-entered for Sparks and move to second on a fielder’s choice by Davidson, with Cline being thrown out at third for the first out. De Vries and Davidson advanced a base on a wild pitch and then scored when Burroughs’ ground ball to third was thrown away by Verra.
Brewer (6-9) made he three runs stand up, as the senior struck out two of her five total strike outs in the bottom of the inning, including Ashley Hammer for the final out of the game.