App State softball sputters in series against Georgia State, 2-1


Travis Holshouser

Senior pitcher Taylor Nichols unloads a pitch in App State’s 9-2 victory over Western Carolina March 22, 2022.

Drew Bailey, Reporter

App State softball traveled to Georgia State for a conference matchup and three game series Saturday and Sunday. While they outscored the Panthers 18-14, they lost the series 2-1. 

In the first game Saturday, the Mountaineers won by a commanding score of 11-0. They came out swinging and recorded 10 runs in the first two innings. 

Junior left fielder Emily Parrott drilled a homer during the first inning. Then, in the second inning, junior first base McKenzie McCullen hit a grand slam and two hits. She led the team with four runs batted in on the day. Freshman third base Kennedy Upshire homered in the second and third inning, while graduate student catcher Baylee Morton knocked through two homers in the second inning. Finally, freshman second base Addie Wray and Upshire rounded out the innings with two hits. 

The game was not all offense, though. Sophomore pitcher Delani Buckner’s pitching was critical to the Mountaineers’ shutout. She allowed two hits during the game and retired 14 out of the 16 batters she faced. Her record improved to 8-5 after the series. 

In the second game of the Saturday doubleheader, Georgia State won 6-2. After not scoring in the first inning, the Panthers scored in the next five. 

App State found two bright spots in this loss. Senior center fielder Mary Pierce Barnes dashed for an RBI in the top of the fourth inning. Then, sophomore shortstop Emma Jones smashed a solo homer. 

In the Sunday afternoon rubber match, the Panthers won by an 8-5 score. A two-run homer by McCullen in the second inning and a Barnes run in the third gave App State a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the inning. 

A six-run third inning by Georgia State made the deficit too big to overcome. Morton tried to swing the game back into the Mountaineers’ favor with two homers, but the Panthers matched with two more home runs of their own.

After the series, App State split two games with Western Carolina March 22, moving to a 15-11 record. The Mountaineers currently sit fifth in the Sun Belt with a 3-3 record and next take on the University of Louisiana Monroe in a three game away series over the weekend.