Sports (743)

Three Mountaineers pounded out home runs on Wednesday as Appalachian State University softball went 1-1 with UNCG in a midweek doubleheader at the Sywassink/Lloyd Family Softball Stadium in Boone. App State topped the Spartans 2-1 in game one, and UNCG bounced back to outlast the Black and Gold 11-9 in game two.

Appalachian State (12-13, 0-3) grabbed their twelfth victory of the season, which surpasses the total number of wins in 2016. The Mountaineers also axed a six-game losing streak to the Spartans (17-13, 0-0 SoCon) with their 2-1 triumph and defeated their ninth non-conference opponent of the season.

App State Trio Ally Walters (Orange City, Fla./University), Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) and Cara Parker (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) all crashed out home runs today with Walters mustering up a career-high two jacks in a single game and registering her first grand slam in a Black and Gold uniform. Also, Parker raised her all-time home run count to 36, and the Apps recorded a team-high of three homers

Game One: App State 2 , UNCG 1

App State broke onto the board first thanks to a Dodd home run to take the 2-0 lead. Megan Walker (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek) set the stage for Dodd after she reached first on a hit by pitch and advanced to second from a Haley Stewart (Belmont, N.C./South Point) sac. bunt. After Parker had grounded out, Dodd hit her second homer of the season over the right center fence to take the advantage at the end of the third.

After keeping UNCG off the scoreboard for five innings, Spartan Sidney Grkman cut App State’s lead in half after smacking a home run over dead center at the top of the sixth.

App had another opportunity to extend their lead at the bottom of the sixth with Mountaineers on first and third, but UNCG clawed their way out of the jam to bring the ballgame to the seventh.

With three outs needed to solidify the win, Kenzie Longanecker (Sanford, Fla./Winter Springs) answered the call and struck out the necessary batters to edge UNCG 2-1.

Dodd highlighted the offense going 2-for-3 at the plate followed by four other Mountaineers who recorded one hit apiece to down UNCG.

Annaleise Kennedy (Kents Store, Va./Fluvanna) and Longanecker turned in two solid performances in the circle holding the Spartans to five scoreless innings and striking out six batters to keep the SoCon team out of scoring position.

Game Two: UNCG 11, App State 9

After a back-and-forth battle that saw two grand slams and four lead changes, the Spartans came out on top with an 11-9 victory over Appalachian.

The Mountaineers busted out of the gates with five runs in the first to put UNCG in an early deficit. After App State had loaded the bases, Natalie Orcutt (Peachtree City, Ga./Starr’s Mill) rocketed a single to center field to bring home Parker, who reached on a single. Then in a blink of an eye, Walters bombed out a grand slam to dead center to clear the bases and round up four runs to end the first up by five.

At the top of the third, the Spartans’ bats began to get hot with a home run to right center to cut Apps’ lead to 5-1 and was followed by a grand slam to even up the score. Later, UNCG would tack on two more to grab their first lead of the game, 7-5.

Not deterred by the two-run deficit, Walters connected again in the bottom of the third slamming a two-run homer over the scoreboard to tie the game at seven apiece.

After both ball clubs had scored one run at the end of the fifth to bring the score to 8-8, Parker ruptured the tie blistering out a home run to right field in the following inning, but the Spartans put up three more at the top of the seventh to snatch the rematch, 11-9.

Walters was sizzling hot at the plate going 2-for-4 with a career high of six RBI and two home runs.

Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./La Habra (Delaware State) highlighted the pitching core striking out five batters in 3.0 innings.

The Black and Gold will continue conference play in Decatur, Ga. when they take on the Georgia State Panthers for a three-game series March 25-26 at the Robert E. Heck Softball Complex.

The Wingate Softball Team (17-13, 4-0) stung No. 15 Lenoir-Rhyne (28-7, 2-2) with a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader sweep, 5-4 and 6-5, Wednesday afternoon at Bears Field.

Game One – Wingate 5, Lenoir-Rhyne 4 (eight innings)
The Bulldogs' Mary Clair Coyne (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished with three hits and three runs batted in including the game-winning RBI single in the top of the eighth inning as Wingate held on after squandering a 4-0 advantage.

Lenoir-Rhyne forced extra innings with four runs in its half of the seventh highlighted by sophomore outfielder Erin Boone's (Creedmoor, N.C.) game-tying, run-scoring single.

The Bulldogs' Aubrey Reep (Eastover, N.C.) improved to 9-7 on the year after pitching two scoreless innings in relief while freshman Sydney Miller (East Bend, N.C.) fell to 4-4 after taking the loss. Freshman pinch hitter Mackensi Swain (Pinetown, N.C.) drove in two runs for the Bears.

Game Two – Wingate 6, Lenoir-Rhyne 5
Once again, Lenoir-Rhyne rallied from a 4-0 deficit but Wingate responded with two runs in the top of the seventh inning to complete the sweep.

With the score tied at five, the Bulldogs' Megan Martucci (Huntersville, N.C.) crossed the plate on an errant throw with two outs. Wingate's Rebekah Woods (Sylvania, Ga.) drove in two runs in the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) gave the Bears a 5-4 advantage with a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kenley leads the league in runs batted in with 40.

On the mound, Rachel Weidner (Greenville, N.C.) improved to 8-6 on the year after earning the win for the Bulldogs while sophomore Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) (17-2) suffered the loss for the Bears.

Lenoir-Rhyne next travels to Brevard, N.C., to face Brevard in a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (16-11) picked up an 8-4 win over Lander (12-15) Wednesday evening at Bears Field.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore outfielder Justin Dean (Mauldin, S.C.) and sophomore designated hitter Zach Jacobs (Moncks Corner, S.C.) both hit home runs as the Bears raced to an 8-1 advantage after five innings of play on their way to the victory.

Junior third baseman Fred Wadsworth (Columbia, S.C.) came through with the game-winning, RBI single in the third frame while Jacobs rounded out the scoring with a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Bearcats were led by Nathan Schreckengost (Winter Garden, Fla.), who finished with three hits and a run batted in despite the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior Austin Hancock (Defiance, Ohio) (1-1) earned his first win of the season in relief after throwing two scoreless innings while the Bears used eight pitchers to strike out 15 batters on the night. Lander’s J.D. Waite (Summerville, S.C.) fell to 1-2 after taking the loss.

The Bears hit the road to take on Rollins to start a three-game weekend series in Winter Park, Fla., on Friday beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Lacrosse Team (6-3, 3-1) won its second straight game with a 13-7 triumph over Lincoln Memorial (3-6, 1-3) Wednesday afternoon on the road.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior attacker Brooke Ouderkirk (Syracuse, N.Y.) and freshman midfielder Alyssa Sack (Senoia, Ga.) both tallied three goals as the Bears used a 6-0 run early in the second half to take control. Sack leads the team with 21 goals and 25 points on the year.

Lincoln Memorial's Casey Kelly (Ellenwood, Ga.) and Heather Roache (Vero Beach, Fla.) each scored twice as the Lady Railsplitters couldn't keep up its early momentum after scoring the first two goals of the contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore attacker Gabby Sousa (Delran, N.J.) also scored twice while junior Ines Flueck (Coppell, Texas) picked up the victory in goal for the Bears after stopping 10 shots. LR held the advantage in both shots taken (24-21) and ground balls (23-17) on the day.

Lincoln Memorial's Shannon Novak (Grosse Point Farms, Mich.) tallied 10 saves in the losing effort.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Brevard

Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) of Appalachian State University men’s tennis was named the Sun Belt Men’s Tennis Player of the Week after his performances against Eastern Kentucky and Oral Roberts, the league announced on Wednesday.

The junior garners the award for the first time this season, and it’s the second Sun Belt Weekly Award in his career.

Webster finished the week both 2-0 in singles and doubles action, contributing to a 2-0 finish for App with wins over Eastern Kentucky and Oral Roberts. In the win over EKU, the Mountaineers snapped the Colonels’ then-three match win streak. Webster and partner, Milo Bargeron (Chislehurst, England/Bullerswood), netted the doubles point while Webster clinched the victory for App in singles competition.

The junior is also on a seven-match win streak in singles play and has won his last four doubles contests. All seven of his wins have come in straight sets. His stretch of play has led App to a 6-1 stretch over the last seven games after starting the season 3-5. Webster is 11-3 this season and is two wins from tying his win total from last season with five matches left.

App State will have the rest of this week and next week off until Friday, March 31 against UNC Greensboro, starting a string of five-straight home matches to end the season before the Sun Belt Tournament.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Sarai Hayes has been named the first AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Women’s Track Athlete Of The Week for the season, league officials announced today.

Hayes, a junior, and graduate of Draughn High School, won the 200-meter dash at the Southside Power & Fitness Invitational in a school-record 25.05 seconds this past Saturday at home.

In addition, Hayes was part of the Bears’ first-place 400-meter relay team (48.85) and won the 100-meter dash with a wind-aided time of 12.25.

Queens’ Ella Fox was named the AstroTurf SAC Women’s Field Athlete Of The Week.

Lenoir-Rhyne next competes in the VertKlasse Meeting on Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, in High Point, N.C.

With a 4-5, four RBI night, junior Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) became the second player in 14 years to bat the cycle (getting a single, double, triple and inside-the-park home run) to help Appalachian State University baseball down Radford, 13-9, on Tuesday in a slugfest.

The junior joins teammate Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) in snapping a 13-year drought without a recorded cycle. Schmid doubled, singled and then hit a three-run homer against Quinnipiac in the second game of a doubleheader on Feb. 27, 2016.

For the fourth time in six games, the Mountaineers (10-11, 1-2 Sun Belt) had 11-plus hits for a season-best 13 runs against the Highlanders (8-12, 0-0 Big South), snapping their five-game win streak.

Stroup’s eighth-inning home run is just the second inside-the-park home run in Smith Stadium history and the first since 2010. On April 6 against North Carolina A&T, Doug Jones hit a game-tying, two-out shot to right center that led to two RBI. Teammate David Towarnicky also had an inside-the-park home run that year, however, it took place in a game against Rider that was held in Hickory at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The inside-the-park home run is just the second to happen in the close-to-10-year history of Smith Stadium (Doug Jones – April 6, 2010). His four hits are also the most by a Mountaineer in a single game since April 30, 2016 (Brian Bauk at Arkansas State).

In a back-and-forth affair that featured four lead changes, Appalachian was actually the team who plated anyone first in the second when a two-out a laser to left field by Stroup brought in Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) before Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) hit one to opposite field to bring home Brad Davis (Woodruff, S.C./Woodruff). Stroup and Zupcic finished the game with four and two RBI, respectively.

The Highlanders responded mightily in the third inning, putting up a four-spot to take the lead. The Black and Gold would inch closer on a Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) moonbeam to left field – his second in four days.

Radford extended its lead further to 7-3 in the fourth inning, all of which were unearned due to an infield error.

Appalachian would retake the lead in the fifth when a Curtis walk, a Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County (Florence-Darlington Tech)) double and a Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) walk set up a two-RBI double for Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) with no outs. Leonard then was able to take home on a wild pitch before Stroup got his double of the game to right field to bring home Seagle. Zupcic then took a 2-2 pitch to the outfield to bring home Stroup to take the lead, 8-7.

Keeping the game close, Radford plated two in the sixth to go back up 9-8 – the Highlanders’ final lead of the night.

The bats continued to roll for the Mountaineers in the seventh inning when Stroup tripled to left as leadoff to eventually be brought home by Calev Grubbs (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll), who fired a bullet through the left side to reach first. Vernon then continued his strong week at-bat by jacking his fourth home run of the season to bring home two and take the lead once and for all.

After having late-inning drama in multiple games this season, Appalachian was determined to keep this game in its control, adding to the lead in its final at-bat in the eighth. Bauk singled up the middle before being advanced to second on designated hitter Schmid’s groundout. Stroup’s dramatic inside-the-park homer brought them both run after the outfielder believed the ball to have been over the fence.

Five Appalachian pitchers took the mound on Tuesday for the midweek tilt, beginning with southpaw Bobby Hampton (Pikeville, N.C./C.B. Aycock), who went 3.0 innings. Sean Mason (Austin, Texas/McNeil) and Matt Schaeffer (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll Catholic (Tallahassee CC)) filled the middle innings for App State before Tristan Helms (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) came in to go 1.1 innings and allow just one hit to keep his 0.00 ERA, earning his first career decision win.

Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) also came in to close out the final half-inning, seeing three batters, striking out one and needing just 12 pitches to secure the win for the Diamond Apps.

The Mountaineers continue with their five-game homestand on Friday, March 24 as they host their first Sun Belt Conference team, Texas State. The three-game series is scheduled to have first pitches at 5 p.m., 2 p.m. and 11 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

North Piedmont Conference:
Mooresville: 2
Alexander Central: 0

Northwestern Conference:
Hickory: 2
Fred T. Foard: 1

South Caldwell: 7
St. Stephens: 0

South Mountain Athletic Conference:
Burns: 2
Draughn: 0

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 2
Bandys: 0

East Lincoln: 7
West Caldwell: 4

Lincolnton: 4
Newton-Conover: 1

North Piedmont Conference:
Alexander Central: 8
Mooresville: 6

Northwestern Conference:
Freedom: 6
Hibriten: 5

South Mountain Athletic Conference:
East Burke: 3
R-S Central: 1

Southern District 7:
Bandys: 5
Bunker Hill: 4

Newton-Conover: 11
Lincolnton: 4

West Lincoln: 9
Maiden: 3

North Piedmont Conference:
Mooresville: 4
Alexander Central: 2

Northwestern Conference:
Hibriten: 4
Freedom: 0

Hickory: 3
Fred T. Foard: 1

South Mountain Athletic Conference:
Burns: 5
Draughn: 0

East Burke: 2
R-S Central: 1

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 1
Bandys: 0

East Lincoln: 7
West Caldwell: 0

Maiden: 2
West Lincoln: 0

Newton-Conover: 1
Lincolnton: 1

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