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Making the first weekend start of his career, senior pitcher Taylor Thurber (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) threw a four-hit shutout to lead Appalachian State University baseball to its first-ever Sun Belt Conference victory, a 7-0 triumph over UL Monroe on Friday night at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

Thurber (3-4) needed only 102 pitches to record the first complete game of his career. The right-hander, who had only three starts in 62 career appearances coming into the evening, struck out seven, walked none and shattered his previous career high of six innings pitched.

Freshman Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) provided the only runs Thurber would need in the bottom of the first inning when he drove in two with a double off the wall left-center field.

Appalachian State (6-15, 1-6 Sun Belt) stretched the lead to 4-0 in the third inning on Dillon Dobson’s (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) team-leading fifth home run of the year and a two-out RBI triple by Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan).

A two-run double by Alex Leach (Charlotte, N.C./Audrey Kell) highlighted a three-run seventh inning that gave the Mountaineers a commanding 7-0 advantage. Leach’s pinch-hit, two-out, two-run double came on the first pitch that he faced this season. The fourth-year junior missed the first 20 games of the campaign due to a hip injury.

The run support was more than enough for Thurber, who faced the minimum number of ULM batters through 3.2 innings and retired 13-straight hitters to close out the ballgame. The only two Warhawks that reached scoring position did so with two outs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

With the shutout effort, Thurber lowered his season ERA to 1.71 and upped his incredible strikeout-to-walk ratio to 29-to-2.

Dobson and Leonard led the Mountaineers’ 11-hit offensive attack with three apiece. Dobson also scored three runs and Holmes matched Leonard with two RBI.

The victory snapped Appalachian State’s 10-game losing streak, a frustrating skid that included losing five of its first six Sun Belt games by two runs or less.

ULM (11-8, 1-3 Sun Belt) lost for only the second time in its last seven outings and saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.

Appalachian State looks to seal its first Sun Belt series victory on Saturday when it hosts ULM for the second game of the three-game weekend series. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Smith Stadium.

NOTES: Appalachian State was 7-for-19 (.368) with runners on base and 6-for-14 (.429) with two outs on Friday evening ... the Mountaineers came into the game hitting .236 with runners on base and .251 with two outs ... the shutout was Appalachian State’s second of the season ... Thurber worked the first six innings of the Mountaineers’ 4-0 win at High Point on March 3 ... the win at HPU was Appalachian State’s last victory before the 10-game losing streak that it snapped on Friday night ... Thurber’s previous career high of 6.0 IP came in the shutout win at HPU on March 3 and in a relief appearance against Davidson on March 2, 2013 ... the complete-game shutout was the first by a Mountaineer since Sean Mason (Austin, Texas/McNeil) blanked Virginia Tech, 11-0, on April 22 of last season ... in four starts, Thurber is 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA, .195 opponents’ batting average, 11 strikeouts and one walk in 24.2 innings ... Dobson’s fifth home run of the season was the 22nd of his career, which pulls him within four of the all-time top 10 at Appalachian State ... junior center fielder Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) will miss a minimum of 2-3 weeks due to a shoulder injury sustained while making a diving catch last Saturday versus Texas State ... for the third time in Appalachian State’s four home dates this season, the contest was played with a steady mist falling throughout much of the game.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (18-11, 7-9) earned its fifth straight victory with an 8-2 triumph over Brevard (12-15, 7-11) in a South Atlantic Conference weekend series opener Friday night at Bears Field.

Junior shortstop Ryan Perkins (Woodruff, S.C.) and senior designated hitter Brantley Rumford (Rock Hill, S.C.) both hit two-run home runs while senior pitcher Landon Elks (Shelby, N.C.) pitched six scoreless innings to close out the game in the victory for the Bears.

Elks improved to 4-0 on the year to go along with four strikeouts in the win after taking over with no outs in the fourth inning.

Rumford’s home run, his third of the season, broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the third inning and proved to be the game-winning hit for Lenoir-Rhyne.

Perkins, the team’s leading hitter, finished with a pair of hits while sophomore first baseman David Newcomer (Archdale, N.C.) also drove in a pair of runs in the win for the home team as well.

For Brevard, Ryan Smith (Indian Trail, N.C.) hit a two-run single in the third inning to provide the lone offense of the night while the Tornados’ Hunter Donaldson (Edneyville, N.C.) fell to 3-2 with the loss.

The two teams will wrap up the South Atlantic Conference weekend series with a doubleheader at Bears Field on Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m.

A critical loss in doubles play proved to be the difference as Appalachian State University women’s tennis fell to Georgia Southern by a 4-3 final on Friday at the Bruce David Lubel Memorial Tennis Courts.

The Mountaineer (6-8) dropped their fifth-straight match as the Eagles (8-3) won for the fifth time in their last six matches.

Georgia Southern was able to capture the doubles point with relative ease as it picked up an 8-3 win at No. 1 and an 8-4 win at No. 3 to clinch the point. Appalachian’s No. 2 duo of Megan Mullen/Melissa Machado were able to come away as 8-6 winners and improved to 8-3 on the season as a team.

The Mountaineers struck back quickly in singles play as Clare Cox grabbed a win at No. 1 (6-3, 6-2) to tie the contest at 1-1, but the Eagles picked up victories at No. 4 and No. 5 singles to increase their lead to 3-1.

Mackenzie LaSure made it a 3-2 contest when she earned a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win at the No. 2 spot, but Georgia Southern wrapped up the match when Anne Kurzweil defeated Appalachian’s Brianna Armellino in three sets (4-6, 6-4, 7-5) to clinch the Eagles’ fourth point.

McKayla Zupan added another point for Appalachian State when she captured a 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 win at the No. 6 spot to wrap up the day.

The Mountaineers return to action tomorrow when they face Georgia State at 9 a.m. before heading to No. 61 Wake Forest on Sunday.

Georgia Southern 4, Appalachian State 3
Mar 20, 2015 at Mobile, Ala. (Bruce David Lubel Memorial Tennis Courts)

Singles competition
1. Clare Cox (APP) def. Jordana Klein (GS) 6-3, 6-2
2. Mackenzie LaSure (APP) def. Mary Phillips Smith (GS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
3. Anne Kurzweil (GS) def. Brianna Armellino (APP) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
4. Giulia Riepe (GS) def. Melissa Machado (APP) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
5. Daria Vasekina (GS) def. Gabrielle Wreder (APP) 6-1, 7-5
6. McKayla Zupan (APP) def. Francisca Norregaard (GS) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Mary Phillips Smith/Anne Kurzweil (GS) def. Clare Cox/Mackenzie LaSure (APP) 8-3
2. Megan Mullen/Melissa Machado (APP) def. Francisca Norregaard/Daria Vasekina (GS) 8-6
3. Jordana Klein/Giulia Riepe (GS) def. Gabrielle Wreder/McKayla Zupan (APP) 8-4

Match Notes
Appalachian State 6-8
Georgia Southern 8-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,5,4,2,3,6)

Appalachian State University Wrestling closed out its season on Friday as Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) and Michael Longo (Corona, Calif./Santiago) were both eliminated from their wrestle-back brackets during the morning session at the Scottrade Center.

After being eliminated from the championship bracket in the second round on Thursday night by All-American Connor Medbery, Dejournette was matched up with Collin Jenson of Nebraska in the second consolation round.

Dejournette hung close with Jenson throughout the match but was unable to secure a third round take down that would have evened the match. Jenson advanced with a 3-1 victory over the 12th seeded Mountaineer. Dejournette finished the year with 33-6 record.

Longo fought off elimination in Thursday’s night session with a pin over Mattew Kaus of Arizona State during the first round of consolation matches for his first Career NCAA Championship victory. The California native drew No. 8 seed Geo Martinez of Boise State.

Martinez was to much for the true-freshman to overcome and was pinned in the first round. Longo shined in his first season with the Mountaineers, posting a 22-16 overall record and capturing the 141-pound SoCon title.

Senior Dominic Parisi (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson) recorded a win over Paul Petrov of Bucknell in the consolation play-in match, but was eliminated in his next match versus Brandon Jeske of Old Dominion on Thursday night.

The losses bring a successful 2014-15 Moutaineer season, that included a second place regular season finish and a SoCon Championship runner-up trophy, to a close. Appalachian will return eight of their ten starters from to regular season.

Friday, 20 March 2015 00:12

Danny Anderson Leaves West Caldwell for Maiden

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Maiden High School has hired Danny Anderson, as head boys basketball coach. Anderson leaves West Caldwell, where he has a total of 22 seasons at West Caldwell. Anderson will replace Patrick Kahny who stepped down Thursday.

Anderson has over 630 wins in his career over three schools, Madison-Mayodan, Starmount and West Caldwell.

Last season, West Caldwell went 18-6 overall and 11-3 in the Southern District 7. Meanwhile, Maiden went 7-16 this season and 3-11 in the Southern District 7.

The Rollins Women’s Lacrosse Team (8-2), ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II, defeated Lenoir-Rhyne (3-5) by a 13-9 score Thursday afternoon at Barker Family Stadium.

The Tars’ Tyler Thomas (Winter Park Fla.), the nation’s leading scorer, finished with a game-high five goals as Rollins held off a second-half surge by Lenoir-Rhyne to win its third consecutive contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior midfielder Lauren Donovan (Hollywood, Md.), the school’s all-time leader in goals scored and points, finished with three goals and a pair of assists despite the setback.

Early in the second half, the Bears scored four straight goals to tie the contest at seven with 17:42 left but the Tars responded with four consecutive scores of their own and held on the rest of the way. Rollins’ Taylor Burns (Midlothian, Va.) scored the game-winner and finished with a pair of goals as well.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior midfielder Claire Wach (Cary, N.C.) also scored twice while freshman Ines Flueck (Coppell, Texas) suffered the loss in goal despite totaling 11 saves.

Rollins held the edge in both shots taken (33-20) and ground balls (26-21) while goalkeeper Malorie Olin (Skaneateles, N.Y.) earned the victory. Olin stopped nine shots on the day.

Lenoir-Rhyne wraps up its Spring Break trip against Saint Leo on Friday at 4:00 p.m., in Saint Leo, Fla.

Lenoir-Rhyne (20-9) and Lander (10-12) split a softball doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at Doug Spears Field. The Bearcats won the first game by a 4-3 score while the Bears prevailed easily in the second contest, 15-5.

Game One – Lander 4, Lenoir-Rhyne 3 (eight innings)
The Bearcats’ Rychel Webster (Stuyvesant, N.Y.) won the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with a run-scoring single. Webster finished with two hits and two runs batted in as Lander rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne lost despite the play of freshman third baseman Averi Miller (Taylorsville, N.C.), who hit solo home runs in her first two at-bats. Sophomore catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) added three hits and a solo home run in the losing effort for the Bears.

On the mound, Hannah Newton (Peachtree, Ga.) improved to 6-6 after going the distance and striking out seven batters. Lenoir-Rhyne junior Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) fell to 9-6 after taking the loss.

Junior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) started the game for the Bears and pitched seven innings. Hoskins allowed just two earned runs with seven strikeouts.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 15, Lander 5 (six innings)
Lenoir-Rhyne split the doubleheader with a resounding victory in the nightcap, scoring a season-high in runs and run-ruling the Bearcats.

Lenoir-Rhyne hit four home runs including three-run home runs from Miller and junior outfielder Ashley Oliver (Newton, N.C.). The Bears scored five runs in each of the fifth and six innings, respectively, as well.

Hole (10-6) rebounded with the win while Amanda Chastain (Palmetto, Ga.). Destiny Clyde (Loganville, Ga.) drove in three runs in the losing effort.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains on the road to take on Brevard in a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (17-11) continued its run of late with a doubleheader sweep of Belmont Abbey (14-11), 6-1 and 6-1, Wednesday afternoon at Abbey Yard. The Bears have now won four consecutive games.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Belmont Abbey 1
The Bears scored four runs in the first inning to take control of the game and limited the Crusaders to just three hits.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore John Curtis (Lenoir, N.C.) improved to 2-1 on the year after allowing just one run in five innings of work to go along with four strikeouts.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior catcher Colby Dishmond (Statesville, N.C.) and senior third baseman Josh Murphy (Hudson, N.C.) both finished with two hits and a run batted in to lead the Bears.

For Belmont Abbey, Brady Hill (Winterville, N.C.) (0-1) was tagged with the loss while Kevin Elefante (Chapel Hill, N.C.) drove in the Crusaders’ lone run in the fourth inning.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Belmont Abbey 1
The Bears limited the Crusaders’ offense again – allowing just four hits – in sweeping the doubleheader. Lenoir-Rhyne junior Wes McGuire (Richmond, Va.) improved to 2-3 with the win, giving up just one run in four innings pitched.

With the score tied at 1-1, the Bears took the lead for good with a two-run fifth inning including a bunt RBI single by junior second baseman Matthew De La Rosa (Austin, Texas).

De La Rosa and freshman outfielder Marcus Shoemaker (Colfax, N.C.) both drove in two runs while Belmont Abbey’s Ryan Allen (Oxford, N.C.) hit a solo home run despite the loss. The Crusaders’ Weston Clarke (Gainesville, Fla.) (0-2) suffered the setback.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Brevard in a South Atlantic Conference game Friday at 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 21:59

Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Lacrosse Edges Out Queens

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The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s Lacrosse Team (5-3, 4-1) stayed in the hunt for the South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship with a 10-9 victory over Queens (4-5, 3-1) Wednesday evening at Moretz Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior midfielder Jon Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.) scored a game-high three goals and the Bears held on to defeat the Royals despite allowing two goals in the final 25 seconds of the match.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore attacker Mike Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.) added a goal and assist as the Bears avenged two losses to the Royals last year.

Three players for Queens notched two goals and two assists – Justin Kestler (Pasadena, Md.), Evan Farkas (Havre de Grace, Md.) and Casey Hock (Danville, Calif.) – despite the loss.

Eight players scored for the Bears, who jumped out to a 6-0 advantage early in the second period before the Royals began their rally.

In goal, Lenoir-Rhyne senior Alex Squires (Lawrenceville, Ga.) earned the win after stopping nine shots while Queens’ Eric Dolan (Hopkinton, Mass.) suffered the loss despite making 11 saves on the evening.

Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Misenheimer, N.C., to take Pfeiffer on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.

Jazmine Charles from Lenoir-Rhyne was voted the South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She earned the honor for her achievements in academics, athletics, service and leadership.

The South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is presented annually to one student-athlete in each of the Conference’s championship sports, and is voted on by the SAC’s Faculty Athletic Representatives Committee.

Charles has a 3.65 GPA and is an electronic and broadcast media major. The senior has been named to the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll each year she has been at Lenoir-Rhyne and has been named to the Dean’s List four times in her career. A three-time Lenoir-Rhyne Scholars honoree, Charles was tabbed CoSIDA Academic All-District this past season.

Charles earned South Atlantic Conference All-Freshman honors after posting 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. She followed with First-Team All-SAC honors during her sophomore season as she finished the year with 11.3 points per outing and led her squad to their first NCAA Tournament bid in three seasons. During her junior year, Charles was named the SAC and Southeast Region Player of the Year after finishing the year with 17.4 points per contest and 55 triples to earn Third-Team All-America honors. She put in 17.2 points per outing during her senior year and finished her career at Lenoir-Rhyne ranked No. 1 All-Time with 183 three-pointers and No. 5 in the LR annals with 1,605 points.

In the community, Charles served as a volunteer at the Humane Society of Catawba County during her sophomore and junior seasons, while volunteering at the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry and the Hickory Soup Kitchen during her senior year. On campus, she is a four year member of the Lenoir-Rhyne Fellowship of Christian Athletes and helped out with the LR freshman girls’ Bible study during her junior year. She is a member of the Nu Generation Gospel Choir and is a sister of Chi Alpha Sigma, the national student-athlete honor society. During her junior and senior years, Charles was honored as a member of the National Communications Association’s honor society, Lambda Pi Eta.

Charles has interned with Turner Sports of America and the Charlotte Hornets Public Relations Department.