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Strong Greensboro offense drops Mountaineers in weekend series

Strong+Greensboro+offense+drops+Mountaineers+in+weekend+series+

Appalachian State softball hosted the UNC-Greensboro Spartans this weekend in a three-game series.

Despite setting scoring records, the Mountaineers were swept in its last home series of the season, dropping them to a 17-29 overall record and 5-12 in the SoCon.

Seering_Catch_WEB
Junior outfielder Ashley Seering lands the third out in the second inning against UNCG during Sunday’s game. The Mountaineers lost to the Spartans 7-0 in the third game of the series. Photo by Joshua Kincaid | The Appalachian

Game 1
The Mountaineers dropped the first game of a Saturday doubleheader 11-5.

App State rebounded from a slow offensive performance against USC-Upstate on Wednesday and jumped on the board early in the game.

UNCG plated two runs in the top of the first, but the Mountaineers responded quickly when junior outfielder Dani Heichen extended her 13-game hit streak with an infield single to lead the inning off.

After junior second baseman Cynthia Gomez reached base, junior center fielder Ashley Seering lined a single into the outfield to chase home two runs for the Mountaineers.

Seering led the App State offense, finishing the first game 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

“I was feeling comfortable, calm and relaxed,” Seering said. “It was very competitive from both sides, and both teams wanted to win.”

The Spartans put the game out of reach in the top half of the third as sophomore catcher Lindsay Thomas powered the offense for the Spartans. After a two run blast in the top of the second, Thomas smashed a three-run home run to put the Spartans up 9-3.

Junior pitcher Alissa Schoelkopf got the start for the Mountaineers, giving up nine runs, four earned, in two and two-thirds innings of work. Sophomore Shivaun Landeros and freshman Sydney Laws also pitched and allowed two runs combined.

Game 2
The Mountaineers and the Spartans saved the offensive fireworks for the second game of the double header.

In a wild contest, App State lost 20-19. The Mountaineers set new school records in RBIs, runs and hits on the afternoon.

The Spartans once again jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, courtesy of home runs from junior second baseman Dominique Madruga and senior catcher Katelyn Bedwell.

The Mountaineers, in what proved to be a common theme throughout the game, responded in the bottom half on an RBI-single from junior catcher Sarah Warnock and a double from Seering.

The Spartans regained the lead 5-3 in the top half of the third only to see the Mountaineers counter once again in the bottom half.

The Mountaineers loaded the bases and scored on the next at bat when catcher’s interference was called with sophomore infielder Alex Sohl at the plate. Gomez notched a bases loaded walk on the next at bat to tie the score at five.

UNCG broke the game open in the fourth and fifth innings scoring 8 runs courtesy of two Mountaineer errors, two walks and a solo home run from sophomore first baseman Nicole Thomas.

App State had its most productive inning offensively in the bottom of the fifth. Warnock was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing home a run.

Senior first baseman Lindsay Loudermilk followed that by earning a walk to push across another run. Seering and freshman shortstop Cara Parker then drove in three for the Mountaineers to cut the Spartans lead to 13-10.

UNCG put up seven more runs in the top of sixth. Nicole Thomas and Toni MacReynolds both smacked home runs along with a two-run single from Bedwell.

The Mountaineer’s once again responded, putting up five runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 20-15. The most damage came thanks to Loudermilk’s first career grand slam.

App State held the Spartans scoreless in the top half of the seventh and proceeded to construct a comeback attempt.

Sophomore outfielder Kristen Terry began the inning with a triple and scored on Heichen’s bunt single. Warnock drove in Heichen on the next at bat with an RBI single.

After Loudermilk singled to center field, Seering lined a ball into the left field driving in Warnock and Loudermilk.

With two on base and one out in the final inning, the Mountaineers were unable to push across another run and fell a run short, dropping the game 20-19.

Landeros started the game for App State, allowing 12 runs on eight hits.

Seering led the offense, going 6-9 in the doubleheader. Terry and Heichen each added five hits for the Mountaineers.

“It was definitely crazy,” Heichen said. “It was frustrating and fun. I’d never played a game this long in my life.”

After the second game, head coach Shae Wesley said she was pleased with the team’s ability to continue to fight back, despite the two losses on the day.

“We have a very competitive group of young ladies,” Wesley said. “I’m very proud of the team for fighting through.”

Game 3
The Mountaineers dropped the final game of the weekend series with UNCG on Sunday, 7-0.

Heichen extended her career-best hit streak to 14 games with a single in the first inning.

“I try not to think about [the streak],” Heichen said. “I hear it from other people, but I really try to keep myself composed. My job is to get on base and it has been working.”

Loudermilk collected one of the four App State hits on the day. Parker and junior third baseman Caroline Rogers picked up the other two hits for the Mountaineers.

Freshman first baseman Tory Wright gave the Spartans a 3-0 lead with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning.

UNCG scored four more runs in the sixth and seventh to take a commanding 7-0 lead.

Senior pitcher Raeanne Hanks threw the complete game shutout for the Spartans.

Laws started for the Mountaineers allowing seven runs on 10 hits in six innings of work. Landeros relieved Laws in the seventh allowing no runs and a walk.

“Offensively, we were way too quiet,” Wesley said after game three. “The team worked very hard and they stayed locked in. We just need to clean up a lot of things.”

App State will play its final home game of the season Wednesday against East Tennessee State University at 5 p.m.

Story: Ben Cogsdale, Intern Sports Reporter

Photo: Joshua Kincaid, Intern Photographer

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