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Katie Mathewson (Hickory, N.C./Hickory) blasted out her first home run of the season as Appalachian State University softball fell to South Alabama in Game Three of the weekend conference series on Sunday at the Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium in Boone.

Appalachian State (12-21, 0-9 SBC) got hot late scoring three runs in the latter half of the game, but South Alabama’s (23-12, 6-7 SBC) five runs held steady as the Jaguars snatched the three-game sweep.

The Mountaineers crashed out five hits on Sunday, and Haley Stewart (Belmont, N.C./South Point) highlighted the offense with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate that included a RBI double. Also, Mathewson whaled out her seventh career home run and pounded in two RBI.

In the circle, Katie Williford (Kannapolis, N.C./Northwest Cabarrus)(1-1) pitched 2.2 innings and registered a game-high of four strikeouts. In relief were Annaleise Kennedy (Kents Store, Va./Fluvanna)and Kenzie Longanecker (Sanford, Fla./Winter Springs) who pitched a combined 4.1 innings and struck out two Jaguars.

Game Three: South Alabama 5, App State 3

After holding each other scoreless in the opening inning, the Jags scored the first run of the ballgame at the top of the second on a RBI single and followed by loading the bases, but Williford left three stranded after striking out her third batter of the game.

In the following two innings, South Alabama stretched their lead to 5-0 after smacking a home run in the third and adding three more in the fourth.

Then in the bottom of the inning, Mathewson broke through blasting a two-run jack over the left field fence to cut South Alabama’s lead to 5-2.

In the top of the fifth, Longanecker entered the game and kept the conference showdown close putting the Jaguars off guard with her tough pitching to counter Appalachian’s limited offensive output.

Then at the bottom of the seventh, Stewart cut USA’s lead to two after smacking a RBI double to left field, but South Alabama held off the Appalachian’s last batter to grab the conference sweep.

App State softball will travel down to Cullowhee, N.C. to take on Western Carolina for a midweek doubleheader at 4 p.m.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 22:58

App State Men's Tennis Winning Streak Snapped

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Appalachian State University men’s tennis (11-7) fell to a tough Georgia Southern team in a valiant 4-1 setback on Sunday afternoon at Stadium Courts.

Despite the score, the Mountaineers hung tough with a Georgia Southern squad that has 17 wins this season. GASO captured the doubles point, and three of the four finished singles matches.


Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) and Milo Bargeron (Chislehurst, England/Bullerswood) cruised to their eighth win of the season as a tandem with a 6-1 victory over Dani Casablancas and Christian Kerrigan, 6-1, which would get the Apps off to a fast start. However, the Eagles claimed the next two matches to pick up the doubles point.

Alex Pavkovich (Queensland, Australia/Mansfield State) and Alex Brea (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) fell as the No. 3 tandem to Artemie Amari and Stefano Di Aloy, 6-1. In a hard-fought match, the duo of Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia/Lambton) and Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C./Abraham Baldwin Agriculture) fell by a slight margin, 6-4, to Diego Finkelstein and Eddie Landin.

The Eagles stretched the lead to 2-0 after Pavkovich suffered a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Artemie Amari as the No. 5 in the lineup. Webster brought the Apps to within one point, 2-1, after his team-leading 12th win of the season over JC Alcala, 6-2, 6-1. Morris was toppled by his opponent as the No. 3 in the lineup to Di Aloy 6-1, 6-4.

GASO clinched the match after Bargeron fell in three sets to Finkelstein 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6. Bargeron fell down a set and had to force a third frame thanks to a tiebreaking win. Maddocks’ single match would be a marathon despite going unfinished. After falling in the first set to Landin 6-4, the senior came back to tie the match with a second-set win, 6-4. Trailing 5-1 in the third stanza, Maddocks came all the way back to force a tiebreaker at 6-6.

Brea was trailing to Santiago Suarez 4-6, 1-4 before the match went unfinished.

App will look to finish the four-match homestand at 3-1 with a 3 p.m. match against Gardner-Webb on Monday. Stay tuned for updates as rainy weather is expected to hit the area.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Lacrosse Team (9-3, 5-1) ran its winning streak to five games with an easy 16-4 win over Newberry (5-9, 1-4) Sunday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference contest at Setzler Field.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore attacker Gabby Sousa (Delran, N.J.) led all scorers with five goals – giving her a team-leading 32 goals on the season – while freshman attacker Cathleen Gaffney (Allentown, Pa.) added three goals as the Bears raced to an 8-1 advantage 20 minutes into the game and never looked back.

Newberry's Rachel Dillon (Chesapeake Beach, Md.) scored twice to lead the Wolves despite the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman midfielder Alyssa Sack (Senoia, Ga.) added two goals and a pair of assists as the Bears also finished strong by scoring the last seven goals of the match. Lenoir-Rhyne also held the advantage in both shots taken (29-13) and ground balls (27-12).

In goal, Lenoir-Rhyne junior All-American Ines Flueck (Coppell, Texas) played the first half and picked up the win after stopping two shots while Brandy Bowman (Irvine, Calif.) made nine saves but suffered the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne next hosts eighth-ranked Queens in a South Atlantic Conference showdown on Saturday, April 8, at 1:00 p.m., at Moretz Stadium.

Appalachian State University softball dropped a pair to South Alabama on Saturday night in a conference doubleheader at the Swyassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.

After two time changes that saw the doubleheader get pushed back from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Apps (12-20, 0-8 SBC) got shut out by the Jaguars (22-12, 5-7 SBC) 4-0 in game one and slipped to USA 5-3 after holding the lead for five innings. Natalie Orcutt (Peachtree City, Ga./Starr’s Mill) and Ally Walters (Orange City, Fla./University) turned in multiple-hit performances going 3-for-7 and 2-for-5 respectively. Orcutt continued her hitting streak extending it out to nine-straight ballgames, and in game two, both Walters and Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) rocketed out their third home run of the season.

Three Mountaineers made appearances in the circle for 15.0 innings pitched, and App State struck out nine Jaguars and only walked three in game one.


Game One: South Alabama 4, App State 0

South Alabama’s three-run third inning and tough pitching aided in blanking the Apps 4-0 in the opening game.

Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./La Habra (Delaware State)) neutralized the Jaguar defense posting two scoreless frames, but USA loaded the bases at the top of the third and scored three runs on a two-run RBI double and a RBI single.

The Apps tried to strike up some momentum offensively at the bottom of the fourth with Orcutt whacking out a double to dead center and Walters reaching on a hit by pitch, but the Mountaineers couldn’t connect to bring the two home.

In the following inning, the Mountaineers threatened to score again with Keri White (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail) drawing a walk and Sidney Russell (Lincolnton, N.C./North Lincoln) smacking a single to put two one, but App Sate was stopped short of scoring due to USA’s solid defense.

Then at the top of the sixth, the Jaguars extended their lead to 4-0 with a RBI single to center field which put the game out of reach.

In the circle, Ciocatto (1-6) pitched 5.0 innings and struck out two batters and Katie Williford (Kannapolis, N.C./Northwest Cabarrus) came in relief and pitched 2.0 scoreless innings and struck out one.


Game Two: South Alabama 5, App State 3 (8 innings)

Despite a three-run deficit, the Jaguars rallied back into the game to overcome the Mountaineers 5-3 in extra innings.

App State jolted onto the board early after Walters blasted a home run that flew over the scoreboard to bring along Orcutt, who reached on a single, for the 2-0 lead.

At the bottom of the fourth, Dodd bombed a solo jack that bounced off the Sofield Indoor Facility to extend their lead to 3-0.

Then at the top of the fifth, the Jags cut Appalachian’s advantage to two runs after a RBI double and threatened to score loading the bases at the top of the sixth, but App State’s defense stopped the Jags in their tracks denying all their scoring attempts.

In the seventh, the Jags rallied back into the game opening their half of the inning with a solo home run and tied the game at three apiece with a RBI single, which pushed the game into extra innings.

At the top of the eighth, USA snatched their first lead of the game scoring two runs to take the 5-3 advantage and held off Apps’ offensive attacks to take the doubleheader sweep.

Kenzie Longanecker (Sanford, Fla./Winter Springs) (8-8) pitched her fourth complete game in 8.0 innings, registered six strikeouts and fired out a game-high 189 pitches.

With no shortage of drama on Saturday, Appalachian State University baseball came back from a 1-0 deficit in the series to win both Games Two and Three in the doubleheader against Little Rock.

The Mountaineers (12-16, 3-6 Sun Belt) won out a tight race in the first of two on the day, 3-2, before having to rally back from a 6-3 Trojan (10-18, 3-6 Sun Belt) lead in the sixth to win 7-6 and secure their first conference series win of the year.

GAME ONE: APP STATE 3, LITTLE ROCK 2

Appalachian started off the day and finished the day by throwing three scoreless innings, but Little Rock would be the first to draw blood, putting up two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take their lone lead of the game.

The Black and Gold responded, however, in the sixth, beginning with a Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) walk and stolen second base. That set up the two-run bomb to right field by Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) – his sixth home run of the year.

They then extended the lead in the seventh after holding strong on the defensive end again when Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) shot one up the middle before Avery Jackson (Ether, N.C./East Montgomery) singled through the right side, advancing Leonard to third. Calev Grubbs (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) then capitalized on an error by the shortstop to reach first and bring home Leonard.

Five Mountaineers finished with a base hit in the first of two on the day with Stroup’s homer bringing in the most RBI.

Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) had an impressive start on the mound, allowing just six hits and one earned run in 6.0 innings of work. Schmid finished striking out four batters and only walking two before Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Rosewood) got his team-high fourth save of the season by pitching 3.0 scoreless innings to close, getting two punchouts and allowing just two hits overall.

GAME TWO: APP STATE 7, LITTLE ROCK 6

In a wild rubber match to end the series, Appalachian took a 3-1 lead to start the game before falling behind in the seventh, only to retake the lead from the Trojans by scoring four runs over the final two innings.

The Diamond Apps carried momentum forward from the first game in the doubleheader by getting on the board first. Jared McCarver (Alvarado, Texas/Alvarado (North Central Texas College)) recorded a rocket to the center-field wall for his first career hit as a Mountaineer before Connor Baldy (Raleigh, N.C./Sanderson (Louisburg CC)) was able to draw a walk before a wild pitch sent both baserunners forward a base.

Calev Grubbs then got a groundout RBI, bringing home McCarver, before Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Florence-Darlington Tech) sent a double down the left-field line to bring home Baldy.

Little Rock responded in the third, fourth and fifth innings, clawing back to tie the game 3-3 by putting up one run in each. The Trojans then really made things difficult for Appalachian by putting up three runs off five hits in the bottom of the sixth, making the game 6-3.

But the Black and Gold kept their composure and put their rally caps on in the eighth, firing off back-to-back doubles by Jason Curtis and Vernon to put runners at second and third to start. Tyler Stroup then fired a fast-rolling grounder to the shortstop who mishandled the fielding to allow him to reach first and both runners to score to bring App State within one.

After a scoreless bottom-half, the Mountaineers again went to work at the plate. After Grubbs reached first on a hit-by-pitch and was moved to second on a bunt by Jason Curtis, Vernon fired a clutch shot one up the middle to bring home Grubbs and tie the game again at 6-6.

After a caught stealing at third put two outs on the board, Stroup once again came through by singling to first base before an errant throw allowed Vernon to cross the plate for the would-be gamewinner.

On the mound, Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) had razer-sharp focus to close the final three innings of the game, allowing just one hit overall. Brill put up a tied-season-high four strikeouts on the night, two of which came in the bottom of the ninth to finish with the win. Luke Watts (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) started the game for App State and went 5.0 innings before Tristan Helms (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) provided relief for the sixth inning.

The come-from-behind victory is the Mountaineers’ 14th since the beginning of last season and the third this year. It’s also the 10th time since 2016 that App State has won the ballgame in its final at-bat.

The Mountaineers will try to carry this two-game win streak forward as they head to a midweek contest at East Tennessee State on Tuesday, April 4. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Appalachian State University women’s track and field definitely left an impression on the program record book following its final day at the Florida Relays on Saturday.

The Mountaineers set two new program records in both the distance medley relay and the sprint medley relay.

The distance medley relay team of Phylissa Greeley, Molly Pusateri, Torre Moser and Elisa Sargent finished the relay with a record-breaking time of 11:59.12, which tops the previous record by over two seconds. The previous mark was set in 1990.

In 1990, the team consisting of Vanessa Kosmala, Jennifer Bowers, Melissa Rogers, Traci McIntyre finished in 12:01.40.

As for the sprint medley, you don’t have to go back nearly as far to find the previous record. The relay team of Darlene Girardeau, Greeley, LaBria King and Catherine Crawford finished in a time of 3:57.28 and took fourth, topping the previous mark a little over one second.

That mark in 2014 was set by Taryn Stern, Breanna Alston, Krystal Clarke and Shelby Howell.

In the 4x100-meter SHR, the team consisting of Brooke Brekke, Imani Chapman, Taylor Drummonds and Makaila Roberts took eighth with a time of 1:01.88.

Appalachian State University men’s track and field set a new program record on the final day of the Florida Relays on Saturday.

The Mountaineers’ 1,600-meter sprint medley relay team of William Buckley, Antonio Marcano Jr., Brandon Smith and Ryan Hastings finished fourth with a record time of 3:20.77.

The previous record was set in 1985 with a team consisting of Stacey Enoch, Greg McCollum, Marshall Pitts and Reggie Littlejohn. They finished in 3:22.31.

Jordan Dale finished seventh in the high jump with a height of 6-6.75. In the pole vault, Phillip Thomas finished 15th with a vault of 15-7.75.

In the hammer throw, Peter Kenn took 25th with a distance of 146-9.00.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 22:37

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Sweeps Mars Hill

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (33-8, 7-3), ranked No. 20 in NCAA Division II, swept a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader from Mars Hill (9-23, 2-8), 3-1 and 9-6, Saturday afternoon at Ponder Park.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 3, Mars Hill 1

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Sydney Miller (East Bend, N.C.) allowed just one run in the complete game victory while sophomore outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.) led off the game with a home run and finished with two runs batted in to lead the Bears to the win.

For the Lions, Ragan Broome (Monroe, N.C.) drove in a run but Sydney Elkin (Boca Raton, Fla.) fell to 5-7 after taking the loss.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 9, Mars Hill 6

Lenoir-Rhyne junior shortstop Madison Carter (Bessemer City, N.C.) finished with four hits and four runs batted in as the Bears raced to an 8-2 advantage and held on to sweep the doubleheader from Mars Hill.

The Bears plated four runs in their half of the fourth highlighted by a two-run double from senior first baseman Sydney Landreth (Disputanta, Va.) for the six-run lead. Landreth finished with three runs batted in.

Mars Hill’s Hannah Smith (Indian Trail, N.C.) hit a solo home run in the losing effort.

Miller (7-4) notched her second complete game victory on the day for Lenoir-Rhyne while Mars Hill’s Casey Stanek (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (2-7) took the setback.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to take on Catawba in a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader on Tuesday beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Lenoir-Rhyne (19-15, 5-10) and Carson-Newman (18-17, 7-8) split a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Complex. The Bears won the first game, 3-1, but fell in the nightcap by an 8-7 score.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 4, Carson-Newman 3

The Bears were able to pull out the victory thanks to two runs on wild pitches and the pitching tandem of juniors Landon Whitson (Marion, N.C.) and Tad Ratliff (Taylorsville, N.C.).

Whitson (2-2) allowed just two earned runs in six innings of work while Ratliff pitched three scoreless innings for his fourth save of the year. In addition, senior second baseman David Newcomer (Archdale, N.C.) drove in a run for the Bears.

For Carson-Newman, Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied three hits and a RBI but Ryan Eberle (Cincinnati, Ohio) fell to 2-5 after taking the loss for the Eagles.

Game Two – Carson-Newman 8, Lenoir-Rhyne 7 (seven innings)

The Eagles’ Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) hit a two-run home run and Carson-Newman was able to hold off a late Bears’ rally to split the season series.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore third baseman Zach Jacobs (Moncks Corner, N.C.) hit a three-run home run as part of a four-run seventh inning but the Eagles were able to register the final out with two runners on base. Carson-Newman’s Will Gardner (Morristown, Tenn.) improved to 4-2 after going the distance in the complete game victory.

For Lenoir-Rhyne, sophomore Josh Kent (Winston-Salem, N.C.) drove in a pair of runs while junior Matt Sullivan (Bristol, Tenn.) (0-1) suffered the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne will face Pfeiffer in Misenheimer, N.C., on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Before that, the Bears host the Hickory Crawdads on Monday in an exhibition at L.P. Frans Stadium beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Appalachian State University men's tennis (11-6) did not have a problem with USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 sweep at Appalachian Outdoor Tennis Courts.

The shutout victory was the fifth-straight win for the Mountaineers this season, but will also go down as head coach Bob Lake’s 200th career win at App State. The 11th win also ensures back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2011-12.

"I'm proud of the guys for today's performance after a quick turnaround,"said coach Lake. "We started off on the right foot in doubles and didn't let up the rest of the way. It's a great feeling to reach 200 wins."

The Black and Gold started strong and never slowed down in the showdown. Scott Webster (Perth, Australia / Scotch College) and Milo Bargeron (Chislehurst, England / Bullerswood) beat Fernando Bernardes and Ignacio Garrido, 6-1.

In No. 3 doubles, Alex Brea (Charlotte, N.C.) and Alex Pavkovich (Queensland, Australia / Mansfield State) defeated Francisco Neto and Ankush Arora, 6-4, clinching the doubles point for the Apps and a 1-0 edge going into singles. No. 2 doubles went unfinished as Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C. / Abraham Baldwin Agricultural) and Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia / Lambton) were down 3-5 to Felix Ewers and Lenhard Haupt.

Maddocks defeated Arora in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, in No. 2 singles while Morris followed suit and dealt Bernardes a 6-2, 6-4 setback in the third slot.

Bargeron clinched the match for the Mountaineers as he defeated Garrido in the tiebreaker set, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

The top singles spot was unfinished along with the fifth and sixth spot. In No. 1 spot, Webster was battling with Ewers, 6-2, 4-5, as Pavkovich was knotted up with Neto 6-7 (2-7), 5-6. The No. 6 spot was only in the first set with Brea up on Tomas Venere 5-4.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 22:16

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Edged Out by Coker

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The Coker Women's Tennis Team (4-5, 3-3) pulled out a 5-4 South Atlantic Conference victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (8-9, 2-5) Saturday afternoon at Hickory High School.

Despite the loss, the Bears had all six players in the starting lineup win at either singles or doubles including sophomore Iulia Ponomareva (Smolensk, RUSSIA) at No. 1 singles over Coker's Jennifer Ruetten (Heinsberg, GERMANY) by scores of 6-2 and 6-2.

Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Wingate, N.C., to take on Wingate on Wednesday beginning at 2:00 p.m., while Coker hosts Lincoln Memorial Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Final
Coker 5, Lenoir-Rhyne 4
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Iulia Ponomareva (LR) def. Jennifer Ruetten (COKER), 6-2, 6-2
2. Jennifer Mezei (COKER) def. Marta Escanero Funes (LR), 6-7, 6-1, 6-0
3. Sara Kalkenova (LR) def. Jenna Gainey (COKER), 6-3, 6-4
4. Suzanna Mickey (COKER) def. Emily Murchland (LR), 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
5. Julia Sorrells (COKER) def. Sophia Aguilar di Camillo (LR), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. Sarah Elliott (COKER) def. Taylor Fredrickson (LR), 0-6, 6-2, 6-4

Doubles competition:
1. Jennifer Mezei/Jenna Gainey (COKER) def. Sara Kalkenova/Iulia Ponomareva (LR), 8-3
2. Emily Murchland/Taylor Fredrickson (LR) def. Jennifer Ruetten/Julia Sorrells (COKER), 8-3
3. Marta Escanero Funes/Sophia Aguilar di Camillo (LR) def. Suzanna Mickey/Sarah Elliott (COKER), 8-5

Records: Coker (4-5, 3-3 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (8-9, 2-5 SAC)

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