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Softball goes 4-1 at Winthrop Classic

Courtesy of Kristin Shaffer, App State Athletics
Freshman Grace Barrett prepares for a pitch against Kent State Feb. 9.

App State Softball spent the weekend participating in the Winthrop Eagle Classic. They went 4-1 on the weekend with wins against Monmouth, Le Moyne, Binghamton and Mount St. Mary’s. Their only defeat was against the host team Winthrop. 

They started off on Friday with a win against Monmouth 11-2. 

Junior pitcher Sejal Neas started the game strong, keeping the Hawks scoreless through the top of the first inning. The Mountaineers kept this momentum going with a solo home run by senior outfielder Kayt Houston. 

The Black and Gold recorded two RBI singles from junior infielder Killian Roberts and junior infielder Olivia Cook. The Mountaineers led 3-0 after the first inning. 

Monmouth led off the second with a solo homerun. However, App State responded with an RBI single from senior outfielder Abby Cunningham, which allowed graduate student catcher Peyton Darnell to score. 

Neas pitched a clean third inning keeping the Hawks scoreless. Houston recorded a bases-loaded walk, extending the lead to 5-1. 

Monmouth recorded a run in the top of the fourth, but the Mountaineers responded with six runs of their own. Houston drove the ball out of the park for a three-run home run. She finished with five RBI’s. 

The game ended in the fifth inning via run rule with an 11-2 App State victory. 

In their second game on Friday, the Mountaineers picked up another win over Le Moyne 12-3. 

Senior pitcher Delani Buckner made her 50th career start for the Mountaineers. The Black and Gold did not allow a run in the first. 

However, the Dolphins hit a solo home run in the second to take a 1-0 lead. The third, fourth and fifth innings saw strong defensive play from both sides as no runs were scored. 

The Mountaineers recorded eight runs in the top of the eighth. Houston hit her third home run of the weekend to start the scoring.
Roberts recorded a two-run RBI to take a 3-1 lead and sophomore Riley Becker hit a RBI double. Cunningham followed with a two-run RBI and freshman utility Grace Barrett recorded her first two collegiate RBI’s to cap off the Mountaineer run. 

The Black and Gold scored four more runs in the seventh to take a 12-1 lead. 

Houston finished the game with her second three-run homer of the day as the Mountaineers won 12-3. 

App State started Saturday with a 5-1 over Binghamton to mark three victories in a row. 

The game started with two scoreless innings until Binghamton scored one run in the top of the third. 

The Mountaineers answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third. 

Barrett’s sacrifice fly brought junior infielder Addie Wray home. Darnell followed with a sacrifice fly to allow Cunnigham to score. 

Graduate catcher Taylor Thorp recorded an RBI to extend the lead to 3-1 followed by a Darnell solo home run in the fifth to bring the lead to 4-1. 

The last score of the day came in the sixth with an RBI from Houston to take a 5-1 win over the Bearcats. 

Senior pitcher Kaylie Northrop made the most of her first start of the year with a five strikeout performance. 

In the second game of the day, the Mountaineers fell to Winthrop 4-1, their only loss of the tournament. 

Cook started the scoring with a sacrifice fly, which allowed Roberts to score in the fourth inning. Winthrop scored three runs in the inning, leading 3-1 into the fifth inning.

The Eagles tallied their final run in the fifth as the Mountaineers fell 4-1. 

App State finished the weekend with a strong 15-0 win over Mount St. Mary’s. 

Houston put the Mountaineers on the board first with the help from Darnell’s RBI. Then, Roberts hit her first home run of the year with a solo shot to extend the lead to 2-0. 

Northrop’s strong pitching kept the Mountaineers in the lead 2-0. In the top of the third, Barrett hit her first career home run, followed by Darnell who hit a home run of her own to extend the lead to 4-0. 

It was the first time the Mountaineers have hit back-to-back home runs on the season. 

Northrop allowed one hit in four innings. Freshman utility Taylor Chumbley hit her first career home run to start the fourth. Darnell drove in her third run of the game to give the Black and Gold a 6-0 lead. 

The Mountaineers scored nine runs in the fifth inning as App State drove in multiple RBI’s thanks to strong hitting and Mount St. Mary’s errors. 

Freshman pitcher Jenna Samuel closed the game for the Mountaineers. Samuel struck out the first batter, recording her first career strikeout. She was not done and recorded another strikeout in the inning to seal the victory in the fifth inning via run rule. 

The Black and Gold improved their overall to 4-4 after starting the season 0-3.

App State will participate in the Wolfpack Classic in Raleigh Friday-Sunday. First pitch against Cleveland State is slated for Friday at 11:30 a.m. The Mountaineers will also face off against Albany, Iona and NC State. 

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About the Contributor
Max Schwanz
Max Schwanz, Reporter
Max Schwanz (he/him) is a freshman journalism major, business minor, from Cornelius, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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