NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University’s softball team had played its way back into the Ohio Valley Conference post-season chase, but the Lady Govs run to make the OVC tournament took a major hit Sunday afternoon with two 5-0 losses to Tennessee State.
The Lady Govs (15-24, 6-15 OVC) had won three of four OVC games this past week to move into ninth place in the conference standing – one spot out of making the tournament field – with eight games to go in the regular season, just a game behind Morehead State.
But Tennessee State (14-31, 5-14 OVC) got two complete-game shutouts by Shea Morris to put the brakes on Austin Peay’s recent surge.
In Game 1, the Lady Govs only managed two base runners against Morris (10-16), a seventh-inning double down the right field line by Lauren de Castro – Austin Peay’s only hit in the opener – an Mel Pavel reaching on an error by Lady Tigers shortstop Lindsey Burgess to open the second inning.
Along with just the one hit, Morris finished the game with 11 strikeouts and no walks.
Tennessee State on the other hand would collect eight hits in scoring five runs – four earned – against de Castro (7-11) and relief pitcher Abby Guest.
The Lady Tigers first two runs came in the third inning, with Jennifer Givens opening the inning with a single, advancing to second on a ground out and came on around to score when she stole third and advanced home when Pavel’s throw when into left field.
The second run came in on an RBI single by Audrey Sensing, scoring Kacie Daugherty.
TSU would add two more runs in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Daugherty and a fielder’s choice by Burgess.
Tennessee State would close out its scoring in the fifth inning on a two-out RBI single by Karra Freeman.
Game 2 would see the Lady Govs have chances against Morris -- who was making her first back-to-back starts in a doubleheader this season -- but couldn’t come up with the big hit to push anything across.
Unlike the first game, where Austin Peay had to wait until the seventh inning for its first hit, Kayla Davidson led off the game with a single to left field.
She would move into scoring position on a sacrifice by Laurel Burroughs, but de Castro and Pavel popped up and struck out to end the threat.
The next chance for the Lady Govs came in the third, with Marissa Lake and Davidson getting on with a walk and a base hit, with one out, but Burroughs and de Castro flew out to left field.
Davidson and Lake would finish the nightcap with two hits each.
Pavel would reach on a double to open the fourth inning, but was stranded on third, for the third runner to be left in scoring position.
The fifth and seventh innings would also see Austin Peay strand two runners.
Lake and Davidson would reach on a one-out single and a walk in the fifth, while Courtney Brower and Lake had back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh, but in both innings they were stranded, as Austin Peay finished the game leaving eight runs on base.
Morris finished the second game with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Tennessee State scored all its runs in the first and fifth innings, with Daugherty having an RBI single in the first, while adding four unearned runs in the fifth on three hits and two Lady Govs errors.