Buckner shines for Mountaineer softball in 2-3 weekend in Charleston


Andy McLean

Sophomore pitcher Delani Buckner unloads a pitch from the mound against UNCG Feb. 20, 2021.

Zach Smith, Reporter

App State softball visited the College of Charleston Feb. 25-27 for the Cougar Classic. The Mountaineers split the weekend with two wins and three losses. 

Sophomore pitcher Delani Buckner shined for App State, earning both wins for the Black and Gold before dropping the last matchup of the weekend against University of Connecticut.

App State opened the weekend with a shutout victory over long-time rival Western Carolina Feb. 25. Buckner pitched a complete game while notching eight strikeouts in the win. Freshman infielder Addie Wray hit a single in the fourth inning to drive in junior utility player Addison Jones, and the Mountaineers never looked back, holding the Catamounts to just three hits.

The later matchup on Friday didn’t go quite as well for App State as they lost a close game against the College of Charleston. Sophomore pitcher Kaylie Northrop earned the start for the Mountaineers while freshman outfielder Kelli Anne Carter hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the game for the Cougars. Northrop threw five strikeouts in the 5-4 loss.

App State opened Feb. 26 with a morning loss to UConn in a close pitcher’s duel. Senior Taylor Nichols struck out eight in a complete game loss, matching Meghan O’Neil’s total for the Huskies. The game saw 16 strikeouts between the two pitchers while only three combined runs crossed the plate in the 2-1 loss for App State.

The Black and Gold bounced back from the consecutive losses with a 6-1 victory over CofC Saturday afternoon. Buckner again got the start and the victory, striking out four and allowing just two hits across her seven-inning outing. Graduate catcher Baylee Morton scored twice for the Mountaineers while four others also crossed the plate for App State. 

App State finished its weekend trip with another loss to UConn, this time taking two extra innings. The Mountaineers had six different players score in the one-run loss to the Huskies. Buckner was called in to finish the game but took a loss as UConn infielder Rosie Garcia sent shortstop Brianna Marcelino home to give the Huskies the victory. UConn pitcher Elise Sokolsky struck out seven and walked just two across the six-inning victory for the freshman.

The Mountaineers traveled to Spartanburg, South Carolina, March 1 for a matchup with USC-Upstate. The matchup resulted in a 9-6 defeat for App State despite a four-run fifth inning. Sophomore infielder Emma Jones and senior outfielder Mary Pierce Barnes hit home runs, driving in two runs each. Junior outfielder Emily Parrott stood out as well, going 3-3 at the plate while scoring twice and stealing three bases.

App State travels to the University of Georgia for another five-game weekend at the Bulldog Classic, taking on Ohio, Georgia and the University of Massachusetts March 4-6.