NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Despite strong pitching, Belmont Softball was unable to get their bats to follow suit on Saturday at E.S. Rose Park. The Bruins (22-19, 3-11 OVC) were narrowly edged in extra innings, 1-0, for game one before seeing their rally fall shy in the nightcap to in-state rival Austin Peay (27-15, 10-4 OVC).
Game one was a true pitcher's duel with neither team able to record a run until extra innings. Sophomore Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) did not allow the Govs to record a hit until the third inning as she went on to record a season-high 13 strikeouts. The teams remained stalemated 0-0 through the first seven innings of play. In the eighth inning, APSU used a double and a single to plate what would become the lone run of the entire contest. Belmont's half of the same frame was unsuccessful, allowing the Govs to win by the narrow 1-0 score.
Both teams were able finally able to find some kind of offensive rhythm in the nightcap. Austin Peay posted a single run in the opening inning but BU got hot in its half of the same. Sophomore Bailey Sims (Flowery Branch, Ga.) singled up the middle and was followed by a well-placed bunt by junior Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.). A sacrifice bunt by junior Chelsea Thomas (Hot Springs, Ark.) moved the pair into scoring position before a deep single to left by senior Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.) sent Cook and Sims over the plate. Unfortunately, APSU matched Belmont's run output in the top of the second frame to take a 3-2 lead.
The Governors held on to the one run advantage for two innings before posting a total of three runs over the fifth and sixth innings to extend the run differential. Belmont continued to record hits and get runners into scoring position down the stretch but could not get anyone home. Austin Peay added a seventh and final run in the top of the seventh frame to pull away for good, 7-2.
For the day, Cook led the Bruins at the plate, going 3-for-6.
The entire BU pitching corps saw action during the pair of games. Lee tallied 13 strikeouts, just two shy of matching her career best output, in game one. Rouse and freshman Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) combined for five in game two.
Belmont returns to action on Tuesday, April 24 with the annual Battle of the Boulevard dual at Lipscomb. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. Live stats will be available.