On Saturday, Appalachian State University softball split a conference doubleheader with Furman in what is the last Southern Conference series ever for the program.
Game One: Furman 4, App State 2
The Mountaineers (18-30, 6-13 SoCon) fell to Furman in the first game of a doubleheader, 4-2. The Apps would out-hit the Paladins seven to five, but mustered just two runs.
App State would score first in the opening inning. Dani Heichen (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Pembroke Pines Charter) extended her hit streak to 15 games with a lead off single. Heichen would then steal her 18th base of the season advance to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Later, Lindsay Loudermilk (Bluff City, Tenn./Sullivan East) would double to right center and score Heichen for the early 1-0 lead.
The Paladins (28-22, 12-6 SoCon) would plate two runs to take the lead in the second inning. After singles from Sieara Bishop and Ambree Muller to start the inning, Furman would plate both runners on a wild pitch and an error from the Mountaineer defense.
Furman would score again in the fifth when Taylor Jenkins doubled to left field and scored Andrea Abbatiello from second base to extend its lead to 3-1.
Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) would single home her 25th RBI of the season on a single to center field to score Sarah Warnock (Jamestown, N.C./Southwest Guilford) from second base and cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Paladins would tack on an insurance run in the sixth with a sac fly to right field off the bat of Lauren Collier that would plate Muller with Natalie Clemmons doubled off of first base.
Alissa Schoelkopf (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) started for the Mountaineers and pitched six innings of five hit ball with two earned runs. Schoelkopf also struck out four batters in the performance.
Loudermilk led the Apps going 2-for-3 at the plate with Heichen, Warnock, Parker, Caroline Rogers (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) and Ashley Seering (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) each collected a hit each in the contest.
Game Two: App State 7, Furman 3
The Mountaineers once again would get on the board first to start the game. After Gomez would be hit by the pitch, Warnock would single through the right side advancing Gomez to third base. Warnock would proceed to steal second base and in the process, Gomez would scurry home and scratch across App’s first run of the game.
The score would remain 1-0 until the fifth inning behind an excellent pitching performance from true freshman Sydney Laws (Brownwood, Texas/Brownwood). Parker would lead off the inning with her eighth home run of the season as it ricocheted off the scoreboard in left field to extend the lead to 2-0. Later in the inning, Gomez would single to left field and score Rogers who got on base via a walk earlier in the inning.
The Paladins would finally get on the board in the fifth after two Mountaineer errors and a wild pitch. In the bottom half, Appalachian would tack on another run on an Alicia Van Winkle (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) double into the left center field gap to score Pepper Butler (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community). Also in the inning, Heichen would extend her hitting streak to 16 games with a single to left field.
Laws would surrender the first Furman hit of the game with one out in the sixth inning to Nikki Legg. The Paladins would score two in the inning on a Taylor Jenkins two-run homer to left field and cut the Mountaineer lead to 4-3.
The Apps would plate three insurance runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach. Kristen Terry (Kernersville, N.C./Glenn) doubled to left center to get the inning started. A Heichen sac bunt moved Terry to third and Gomez would reach on after being hit by the pitch. Warnock followed that up with a two-run double to left center to score extend the lead to 6-3. Loudermilk would then single home Warnock on a single to bring to a 7-3 advantage.
Laws (5-8) went the distance and allowed just three hits and three runs with two of them earned. The freshman walked none in the contest and struck out two.
The Mountaineers will be back in action on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the series finale against Furman. After the game, App State will prepare for the its final Southern Conference tournament which begins on Wednesday, May 7th.