CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University kept its slim post-season dreams alive, Sunday afternoon at Cheryl Holt Field, as the Lady Govs swept an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader from Southeast Missouri 6-0 and 6-5.
The Lady Govs (17-24, 8-15 OVC) entered the day in 10th place in the conference standings -- the top eight teams making the OVC tournament field -- and trailing Morehead State by two games and Southeast Missouri by one in the standings.
But Austin Peay junior Lauren de Castro (8-11) pitched a three-hit shutout in Game 1 by getting out of jams in the first and third innings, but settling down to allow the Redhawks only one base runner over the final 4 2/3 innings.
Along with the three hits -- all singles -- de Castro struck out five and walked two, in needing only 91 pitches over her seven innings of work.
Offensively, the Lady Govs jumped on SEMO (15-29, 6-15 OVC) starter Taylor Cowan for four runs in the bottom of the first inning, with de Castro driving in the first two with a double and freshman Mel Pavel the other two on her second home run of the season.
Austin Peay would add two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the first coming on a double steal, with Ryan scoring; the other on an RBI single by sophomore Laurel Burroughs.
Burroughs and freshman Courtney Brower would have two hits each to lead APSU, while Xia Wilson had two of SEMO’s three hits in the opener.
In Game 2, Southeast Missouri took its first lead of the day, 1-0, in the top of the second inning on and RBI single by Leah Becker.
But Austin Peay would respond with four runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a two-run double by freshman Marissa Lake and the other two coming in on junior Kayla Davidson’s sixth home run of the season.
The Redhawks would put up a four-run inning of their own in the third inning, with Cowan driving in two with a single and Simone Patterson driving in two with her sixth home run of the season to put SEMO back up 5-4.
Austin Peay would take the lead back for good with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, with Lake driving in one of the runs with a double, while Davidson drove in the other with an RBI single.
Lake and Davidson had two hits each for Austin Peay, while Alexis Anderson had three hits to top Redhawks hitters in the nightcap.
Brewer (7-10) got the win for the Lady Govs, despite giving up 10 hits and a walk – she struck out two.
Cowan took the complete-game loss, giving up seven hits and striking out two.
The two teams will conclude the three-game OVC series Monday, April 29, at Cheryl Holt Field, starting at noon.