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Softball opens season 0-3 at Elon Softball Classic

Graduate+student+catcher+Peyton+Darnell+gets+ready+for+a+pitch+against+Kent+State+Feb.+9.+
Courtesy of Kristin Shaffer
Graduate student catcher Peyton Darnell gets ready for a pitch against Kent State Feb. 9.

The 2024 App State softball season got off to a rough opening weekend as the Mountaineers dropped three straight games in the Elon Softball Classic to Kent State and Miami (OH).

On the Black and Gold’s opening day Friday, they went down 4-0 to the Kent State Golden Flashes in the first inning and never recovered. 

Senior pitcher Delani Buckner started and gave up five runs on six hits. In relief, senior pitcher Kaylie Northrop recorded four strikeouts and allowed five hits in a little over four innings.

The Mountaineers got on the scoreboard in the second inning when freshman infielder Macy Hamby delivered a sacrifice flyout, allowing a baserunner to score. Later in the inning, Kent State batted in their own run, making it 5-1 entering the third.

At the top of the third, preseason All-Sun Belt first team and senior outfielder Kayt Houston recorded her first hit of the season. After a flyout, graduate student catcher Peyton Darnell sent one over the wall marking her first App State home run. 

This was the last time the Mountaineers scored until the seventh when they scored two runs. Kent State won 9-5, dropping the Black and Gold in their season opener.

Saturday, App State played a doubleheader against the Miami RedHawks. 

In the first matchup, neither team scored until the fourth inning when the Mountaineers brought in two runs. Graduate student catcher Taylor Thorp hit a double, followed by three consecutive hits from junior infielder Killian Roberts, junior infielder Olivia Cook and senior Sidney Martin, giving the Black and Gold a 2-0 lead. 

Junior pitcher Sejal Neas got the start and shutout the RedHawks through four innings along with three strikeouts.

In the bottom of the fifth, Miami brought in five runs, including a grand slam off infielder Sami Bewick’s bat. The Black and Gold were shutout the rest of the game, losing 5-2.

The RedHawks dominated the second matchup, winning 12-1 as they scored 10 runs in the first two innings. 

App State’s lone run came from a solo home run from Darnell in the bottom of the third inning. Darnell had two of the Mountaineers’ three hits.

Originally, the Black and Gold were scheduled to face Elon Sunday, but the game was canceled due to weather.

App State returns to the diamond Friday in Rock Hill, South Carolina for a doubleheader as a part of the five-game Winthrop Eagle Classic. They square off against Monmouth at 10 a.m. followed by a matchup against Le Moyne at 12:30 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Ethan Smith
Ethan Smith, Sports Editor
Ethan Smith (he/him) is a senior journalism major, media studies minor. This is his third year writing for The Appalachian.
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