The Appalachian State softball team takes the series finale in walk-off fashion against the UL Monroe Warhawks. The Apps won 9-8 in eight innings with a complete game by Kenzie Longanecker in the circle. In this conference-opening weekend alone, the team has tied the previous two seasons' Sun Belt win record for App State.
"What a great team win! I'm so proud of our resiliency and our mental toughness today. We had timely hitting in clutch scenarios, and Kenzie threw an outstanding game," Hoerner said.
App State captures the victory in the final game against ULM, taking the series 2-1. Longanecker threw a complete game, walking only one batter in eight innings. She threw 107 pitches. Only one run was earned for the Warhawks.
ULM scored six of their runs in the top of the third inning off of five hits and one error. The Apps answered with four runs in the bottom of the third on five hits. Avery Wheatley singled to the shortstop. Alisha Josey hit a double to the fence to score Keri White and Wheatley. Jenny Dodd singled down the right field line and scored on a double from Baylee Morton.
A. Josey hit her fourth homer of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning to lessen the Warhawks' lead to one run. ULM pulled ahead again in the top of the sixth with two runs on two hits and one error, but it did not phase App State. In the bottom of the seventh, A. Josey started the inning with her second home run of the game. With two outs, Megan Walker singled through the left side, hitting the first pitch. She advanced to second base on a fielding error by the left fielder before Morton brought two runs across the plate to tie up the score at eight all.
In an extra inning, the Mountaineers did not allow the Warhawks to score with a three-up, three-down inning. In the bottom, White was hit by a pitch to become a base runner. Sales reached on a fielder's choice, and White was safe at second when the third baseman earned herself a throwing error trying to make the play. ULM intentionally walked A. Josey, who was 3-4 on the day already with a double and a two home runs. With bases loaded, Dodd singled up the middle for a walk-off single to score White from third base and win the game.
"Jenny Dodd was prepared for the situation in the bottom of the eighth inning. Her calm demeanor and focus is exactly what we needed," Hoerner said.
Dodd was 3-5 in game three against ULM. Morton also played a great offensive game, going 3-4 with three RBIs. Walker had a multi-hit game going 2-4. The Mountaineers totaled 14 hits in a season-high 36 at bats and a season-high three home runs in a single game. Longanecker pitched a season-high eight innings in her complete game.
App State is now 12-11 overall and 2-1 in the Sun Belt. Their record at home is 3-1 this season. The Mountaineers return to Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium for a midweek doubleheader against Western Carolina on Wednesday, March 14 at 4 & 6 p.m.