Kenzie Longanecker (Sanford, Fla./Winter Springs) fired out 73 strikes in 109 pitches to keep the game close, but the Texas State Bobcats hit a walk-off homer in extra innings to edge Appalachian State University softball 4-1 to take the three-game sweep on Sunday afternoon in San Marcos, Texas.
Appalachian State (11-12, Sun Belt 0-3) dropped a heart-breaker to Texas State (20-4, 5-0 Sun Belt) in eight innings after keeping the game tied at one apiece for five innings. Four different Mountaineers pounded out hits at the Bobcats Softball Stadium and Natalie Orcutt (Peachtree City, Ga./Starr’s Mill) scored the Apps’ sole run in the second inning.
Longanecker had an outstanding outing pitching her third complete game in 7.1 innings striking out three Bobcats, allowing four earned runs and did not give up any walks.
Texas State 4, App State 1 (8 innings)
A defensive showdown and a pitching duel dominated the Sunday conference ballgame allowing only three hits apiece from both squads after seven innings which kept the game tight.
Appalachian hopped onto the scoreboard first at the top of the second scoring a run on a throwing error, but the Bobcats answered back tacking on one run on a sac. bunt
Both Sun Belt conference teams tried to make something happen offensively to take the lead, but nothing opened up and the game went into extra innings.
After retiring Apps’ three batters following a Keri White (Hampstead, N.C./ Topsail) single, the Bobcats started the bottom of the eighth with a single and two bunts to advance runners to first and third. Up next was Ariel Ortiz who closed out the game with the walk-off home run to grab game three, 4-1.
App State held the Bobcats to one run for seven innings thanks to a great defensive output. Ally Walters (Orange City, Fla./University) fielded a huge double play that emptied the bases to halt the Bobcats’ offensive threat in the bottom of the fourth, and Sidney Russell (Lincolnton, N.C./North Lincoln) turned in a solid performance at shortstop making multiple athletic plays to stop the Bobcats’ hits from touching the ground to keep the game close.
App State will return to Boone Wednesday, March 22 to play a doubleheader with UNC-Greensboro for their home opener at the Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium. First pitch is set at 4 p.m.