APSU Softball had a very long weekend with five games in four days at the 17th annual Georgia Classic in Athens, Ga. The Governors faced off against Central Michigan, James Madison, and Georgia.
With two games on Friday, the Govs dropped both falling against Central Michigan 4-3, then losing to James Madison 13-2 shortly thereafter.
The first game of the weekend started with the Governors ahead 3-2 at the bottom of the seventh inning against the Chippewas. Kelsey Gray opened the inning by drawing a walk, taking advantage of the back-to-back base runners and scoring at the bottom of the seventh.
Despite Brooke Pfefferle hitting her first home run of the season at the top of the third, it was not enough as Central Michigan got their first win of the season under new head coach McCall Salmon.
The second opponent of the day, James Madison, won handily against the Governors. The Dukes defeated APSU in six innings on 12 hits and six walks. The Govs scored twice in the top of the fourth against the nationally ranked team, Katie Keen scoring on a sacrifice fly to center field and Emily Harkleroad scoring on an error.
The Dukes took advantage of a bases-loaded error at the bottom of the fourth inning, on an off-target throw from right field. A grand slam from Michelle Sullivan would initiate the mercy rule with a final of 13-2.
Saturday began with a rematch of Friday’s nightcap. The Governors put runners in scoring position against James Madison during the first and third inning, but could not pull through letting the Dukes take an early lead.
The Govs would hold their opposition until the bottom of the fourth inning. James Madison then took advantage of their runs in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring seven unanswered for a final score of 8-0.
In game four, Katelyn Smith hit her first collegiate home run in a 3-1 Governors win. The Chippewas took their only run of the game at the top of the fifth inning tying the game 1-1. The Govs responded, however, recapturing the lead at the bottom of the inning. Brett Jackson moved to third and scored on a single that missed the glove of pitcher Haley John of the Chippewas. Smith’s home run to left field would clinch the victory on Saturday.
Governors’ head coach Kassie Stanfill spoke to Chris Austin of APSU Sports Information about their lone win for the weekend. “We came out and scored first, which is something we always strive for, then late in the game Katelyn Smith hit first career home run that gave up some cushion when we needed it heading into the last inning.”
The final game of the tournament for APSU (4-7) was played against No. 18/19 nationally ranked Georgia Bulldogs (14-3). In five innings, the Govs were not able to make a comeback.
After scoring in the first, the Bulldogs took three hits and four walks to extend their score by five runs, making the score 6-0. Shelby Harpe produced the only hit for the Governors throughout the game. Georgia would end the weekend by closing out the game with a home run for a final score of 8-0 at the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Govs will travel for the Holiday Inn Hill Topper Spring Fling in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The first pitch against Illinois State is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.