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Sunday, 03 April 2016 23:01

App State Softball Defeats UT Arlington

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Appalachian State University softball came back from a one-run deficit on two separate occasions during Sunday’s matinee and defeated UT Arlington by a score of 4-3 to take game three of the series.

“I’m very proud of the character our team showed this weekend,” said head coach Janice Savage. “After the first game, to bounce back and play the way we did shows how much fight and how bad they want to prove themselves in the Sun Belt. That fire carried over to today to earn us a win in the third game of the series.”

Freshman, Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) was the hero as she put the Mountaineers (8-29, 2-10 Sun Belt) up 1-0 with a home run in the top of the second and gave them the win with an RBI single through the left side in the seventh. The victory snapped a six-game skid for the Black and Gold and marked their first-ever victory over UTA (0-5 prior) while the Mavericks now sit at 25-7 overall and 4-5 in the Sun Belt.

As mentioned above, App State was the first to strike with Dodd’s seventh four-bagger of the season that came in the second inning. The home team then answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to go up 2-1.

When the top of the sixth rolled around, Dodd was hit by a pitch to lead it off, Mallory Choplin (Yadkinville, N.C./Forbush) pinch ran for her and was moved to third on Katie Mathewson’s (Hickory, N.C./Hickory) sacrifice bunt. Next up, Tiffany Taynor (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./New Smyrna Beach) came through with a single to center and Choplin came around from second to even things up at 2-2.

However, UT Arlington punched back with a run in the home half of that frame and the Mountaineers found themselves down by one run once again, 3-2. Appalachian State answered the bell when it mattered most in the top of the seventh.

Pepper Butler (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community) hit a one-out double to center and just beat the throw back in to second with a feet-first slide. Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) followed suit with a single to right field before the right fielder’s throw back in was errant, which allowed Butler to score and Parker to move all the way to third. With the game hanging in the balance, 3-3, Dodd took care of business with her single to left.

Aside from the freshman catcher, another freshman helped to carry the offensive load. That rookie was Natalie Orcutt (Senoia, Ga./Starr’s Mill) who turned in her third three-hit game of the season and first since March 12 against ULM (14-game span).

In the circle, Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./Delaware State/La Habra) (6-14) went the distance for the fifth time this season and capped an excellent weekend of play (2.56 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched). The junior hurler gave up three earned runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Savage added, “This was a great team win with some big performances from key people. Vanessa pitched a great weekend with Cara, Jenny and Tiffany stepping up today with big RBIs for us. Natalie did a great job in the leadoff spot of getting on base and making things happen. Megan made a diving catch that saved a run late in the game. Everyone played well together and our chemistry coming from the dugout showed the true character of our program and team right now. It was another great day to be a Mountaineer.”

On the other side, the Black and Gold handed one of the Sun Belt’s best pitchers in Samantha Clakley just her fifth loss of the year (14-5). They also made the freshman throw 145 pitches, eight of which turned into hits.

App State will have another midweek doubleheader on Wednesday, this time against Radford with first pitch in game one set for 4 p.m.

It came down to the final match, but Appalachian State University women’s tennis (6-10) won its second contest in a row with a thrilling 4-3 victory over North Carolina Central (3-11) Sunday afternoon at NCCU Tennis Courts.

“This was a great win for us on the road”, said head coach Colin Crothers. “If it was earlier in the season, we may not have won this match, but the team dug deep and pulled through. The freshmen stepped up today and McKayla’s match that clinched the victory was the game-changer. I’m proud of the squad today!”

McKayla Zupan (Wilmington, N.C./Hoggard), who was trailing 4-2 in the second set having already won the first game, fought back to defeat Lynsey Cover 7-5 and clinch the win for the Apps.

Three freshmen on the squad in Taylor Bygrave (Monto, Australia/Miam Gold Coast), Devin Knors (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons HS) and Rebecca Morse (Lehigh Acres Fla./Cypress Lake) played a pivotal role in the victory as well with the trio notching wins in either singles or doubles play. Morse had her best performance of the season with a singles and doubles triumph on the day.

Appalachian captured the doubles point to go into with a 1-0 lead. The duo of Morse and Knors downed Cover and Tamara Jeremic 6-2 to claim the first match. Mullen and Bygrave partnered as the No. 2 tandem for the 6-2 toppled Mia Ramic and Jasmine Gabriel 6-2 to give Appalachian the 1-0 lead.

The Eagles tied the contest on the first singles match when Gabriel defeated Heidi Swope (Weddington, N.C./Weddington HS) 6-2, 6-1. Melissa Machado (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) won her second-straight match thanks to a 6-3, 6-1 decision over Mia Ramic as the No. 2 in the lineup. Clare Cox (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) suffered a 6-3, 6-3 setback to Aissa Muamba 6-3, 6-3 in the No. 1 spot.

Morse kept up her strong play in the singles portion, as she toppled Jeremic 6-2, 6-1. Gabrielle Wreder (Miami, Fla./Miami Killian) valiantly fought hard in her match, but fell in three sets to Rogers, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, which set up the final match to decide the contest.

Appalachian will look for its first three-match win streak of the season tomorrow at 12 p.m. against East Carolina at Varsity Courts.

Hickory Motor Speedway
Race Results for 4/2/2016

4-Cylinders - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 17 Curtis Pardue Hickory, NC
2 6T Rodney Trivette Newton, NC
3 82F Rusty Fann Newton, NC
4 28 Robert Trivette Newton, NC
5 2 Charlie Neill Hickory, NC
6 4M Dylan Mundy Concord, NC
7 98 Rob Lewis Morganton, NC DQ

Classic Sportsman Racing - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 95G Eddie Gilbert Newton, NC
2 0G Greg Butcher ,
3 16 Bill Webb Statesville, NC
4 4H Dennis Hinkle Hickory, NC
5 71P Bill Powell Newton, NC
6 66 Robert Webb Harmony, NC
7 4 Tim Gilbert Newton, NC DNS

Limited Late Model - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 51 Jeremy Pelfrey Lenoir, NC
2 17M Ryan Millington Statesville, NC
3 18S Evan Swilling Cohutta, GA
4 22 Dan Moore Conover, NC
5 29 Mitch Walker Newton, NC
6 7W Dylan Ward Winston-Salem, NC
7 11C Dawson Cram Mooresville, NC
8 15 Sheflon Clay Asheville, NC
9 13J Mark Johnson Newton, NC
10 39 Devon Haun Hiddenite, NC
11 46 Thad Moffitt Concord, NC
12 3D Dylan Oliver Stanley, NC
13 43 Greg Wise Candler, NC
14 9 Charlie Watson Lenoir, NC
15 77G Lexi Gay Canton, GA
16 21 Monty Cox Granite Falls, NC
17 11 Dillon Houser Hildebran, NC DQ

Street Stocks - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 3 Kevin Eby Lenior, NC
2 10T Kevin Townsend Lenoir, NC
3 64 Marshall Sutton Burnsville, NC
4 7 Eric Evans Mooresville, NC
5 77P Mark Whitten Hogtown, VA, VA
6 16 Carroll McKinney Hildebran, NC
7 32J Jeremy Harrell Newton, NC
8 25 Colby Gibson Arden, NC
9 5W Chris Werner Mooresville, NC
10 10 Ethan Johnson Hudson, NC
11 18D Cody DeMarmels Newton, NC
12 69 Trey Buff Hickory, NC

Super Trucks - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 36D Tyler Dayton Mooresville, NC
2 22 Stephen Shore Stanley, NC
3 45 Tanner Long Kernersville, NC
4 14M Derrick Mathis North Wilkesboro, NC
5 15C Sheflon Clay Asheville, NC
6 03L Kerry Lawrence Winston-Salem, NC
7 09F Dillon Faggart Concord, NC
8 5J Johnny James Clemmons, SC
9 80 Eddie Collins, Jr. Winston-Salem, NC
10 15Q Lee Queen Catawba, NC
11 30 Joey Shuryan Dearborn, MI
12 8 Robert Hapeman Midland, NC
13 51 Allen Huffman Hickory, NC
14 7 Travis Byrd Sherrills Ford, NC

Matt Vernon’s (Advance, N.C./Davie County) RBI double with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Appalachian State University baseball its second-straight 8-7 walkoff win over Little Rock on Sunday afternoon at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

With its back-to-back walkoff victories, Appalachian State (8-20, 3-9 Sun Belt) clinched its first Sun Belt Conference victory of the season, two games to one.

Facing a full count with pinch-runner Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) on first base, Vernon ripped a line drive off into the left center field gap off of Little Rock’s eighth pitcher of the ballgame, Cody McGill. The ball split the Trojans’ left and center fielders and skipped all the way to the wall, allowing the speedy Curtis to easily score the winning run all the way from first and setting off the Mountaineers’ second raucous on-field celebration in less than 24 hours.

Vernon’s game-winner capped a wild contest that saw the teams combine for 10 runs over the final two innings.

App State took a 3-2 lead into the top of the eighth inning but Little Rock scored two runs on a wild pitch and a two-out RBI single by Matt McDowell to grab a 4-3 advantage.

The Trojans’ advantage was short-lived, however, as the Mountaineers answered with four runs in the bottom of the eighth to retake a 7-4 lead. Like he did in the ninth, Vernon provided the big hit in the eighth with a two-run single. Will Herman (Dunwoody, Ga./St. Pius X Catholic) scored on a wild pitch and Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) hit his second sacrifice fly of the game to account for the Mountaineers’ other runs in the eighth.

Bauk, Appalachian’s closer who was called on to get the Mountaineers out of the jam in the eighth inning, returned to the mound for the ninth and quickly found himself in another precarious situation. He walked the leadoff hitter and, two batters later, gave up a line-drive single off his foot to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of the nation’s leading hitter, Little Rock’s Ryan Scott, with only one out. However, Bauk struck out Scott on a 3-2 pitch for the second out of the inning.

That brought Little Rock’s Dalton Thomas, a near .400 hitter in his own right, to bat with two outs. On a 1-1 pitch, Bauk left a fastball over the heart of the plate and Thomas crushed it over the left field wall for a game-tying homer. Following the homer, Bauk got cleanup hitter Nik Gifford to ground out to first base but the game went to the bottom of the ninth knotted at 7-7.

The Mountaineers’ No. 9 hitter Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) led off the bottom of the ninth by drawing a four-pitch walk from McGill. Curtis came on to pinch-run for Seagle and scored on Vernon’s walkoff double two batters later.

The game was eerily similar to Saturday’s 8-7 App State victory in that both contests ended with walkoff hits, featured the same final score and had the same pitchers of record — Bauk (2-0) and McGill (0-3).

The entire weekend was also nearly a facsimile of last season’s first-ever series between the two clubs in Little Rock. The Trojans won all three of those contests in walkoff fashion, meaning that five of the six games played all-time by App State and Little Rock have ended with walkoff hits.

Vernon finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored to lead the Mountaineers’ nine-hit attack on Sunday. Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) and Parker Henderson (Harrisburg, N.C./Hickory Ridge) both went 2-for-3 while Bauk finished 1-for-2 with a double, two sac flies, a walk and two RBI at the plate.

Winners of three of their last four and four of their last six games, Appalachian State returns to action on Tuesday with a neutral-site game versus Campbell in Holly Springs, N.C. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at the brand new North Main Athletic Complex (home of the Coastal Plain League’s Holly Springs Salamanders).

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (33-7) ran its winning streak to 14 games in a doubleheader sweep of Converse (6-22), 18-0 and 8-0, Sunday afternoon in a non-conference affair at Bears Field.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 18, Converse 0 (five innings)
The Bears put the game away early with a seven-run first inning and led by a 17-0 score after three innings of play on their way to the easy victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.) led the way with four hits and four runs batted in while sophomore catcher Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.) hit a solo home run and drove in three runs in the win.

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Ty Triplett (Valdese, N.C.) improved to 6-0 on the season after tossing a no-hitter. Triplett struck out eight batters in five innings of work. Converse’s Morgan Marlow (Murrells Inlet, S.C.) (1-6) took the loss.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 8, Converse 0 (five innings)
The Bears once again started strong out of the gate – courtesy of three-run first and third innings – and run-ruled the Valkyries for the second straight contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior designated player Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) came through with a two-run single in the first inning while sophomore infielder Madison Poe (Siler City, N.C.) added a two-run double in the third frame.

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) improved to 10-0 on the year after earning the victory. Parks limited the Valkyries to one hit in four innings of work to go along with eight strikeouts while Marissa Steadman (Roebuck, S.C.) (5-16) took the setback.

Lenoir-Rhyne takes on Catawba in a South Atlantic Conference showdown on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m., in a doubleheader in Salisbury, N.C. Converse hosts Limestone Wednesday in a doubleheader beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Despite a five-for-five performance at the plate from Ty Andrus, the Catawba Valley Community College baseball team lost 12-8 to Patrick Henry Community College on the road.

CVCC led 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning, but Patrick Henry exploded for seven runs in that frame and would never trail the rest of the way.

CVCC would close to gap to four runs with a pair of scores in teh top of the sixth inning, but Patrick Henry answered with two in the seventh before CVCC would score their final two in the eighth inning.

Andrus would end the night with two runs scored and three RBI. Grayson McCurry was three-for-five with a run scored and an RBI.

CVCC falls to 17-18 on the season, 3-3 in conference play. The Red Hawks are back in action Saturday for a doubleheader at Bruswick Community College.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (31-7, 10-0) ran its winning streak to 12 games with a doubleheader sweep of Mars Hill (9-18, 3-7), 13-11 and 7-5, Saturday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference action at Bears Field.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 13, Mars Hill 11
The Bears broke a 5-5 tie with a six-run third inning yet still had to hold on to beat the Lions in the end.

Freshman outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.) and sophomore designated player Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.) highlighted the inning with run-scoring doubles for the Bears.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led offensively by sophomore outfielder Christina Walker (Roxboro, N.C.) with three hits and two runs scored while senior Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) (2-1) earned the win in relief. In addition, senior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) was credited with her third save of the season.

For Mars Hill, Taylor Lail (Conover, N.C.) and Casey Stanek (Winston-Salem, N.C.) hit two-run home runs despite the loss. The Lions’ Shelby Culler (Conway, S.C.) was tagged with the defeat and fell to 5-3 on the year.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 7, Mars Hill 5
Lenoir-Rhyne raced to a 7-0 advantage – aided by a three-run home run from freshman first baseman Emily Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) in the first inning – and held on once again to complete the sweep.

Cates drove in two more runs for the Bears, who opened the contest by plating six runs in the first inning.

Mars Hill’s Ragan Broome (Monroe, N.C.) hit a grand slam in the fourth inning as the Lions tried to rally but fell short. Broome finished with three hits in the game.

Hoskins (10-4) earned the win after going the distance while Stanek (0-4) was tagged with the loss for the Lions.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to take on Converse in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Appalachian State University women’s track and field finished up its weekend of competition at the VertKlasse Meeting at High Point University and the Florida Relays at the University of Florida.

On day two at the VertKlasse, Appalachian’s Imani Chapman (Raleigh, N.C./Sanderson) took 10th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.61. In the 400-meter hurdles, Brooke Brekke (Neillsville, Wis./Neillsville) finished in seventh with a time of 1:07.76.

In the the group “A” high jump, Makayla Roten (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes) took fourth with a height of 5-5, while Libby Florence (Cedar Grove, N.C./Cedar Ridge) finished in eighth after clearing 5-1. In group “A” pole vault, Taylor Drummonds (Boone, N.C./Watauga/East Carolina) finished in 10th after vaulting 11-6.25.

In the javelin, Shea Wheeler (Rutherforton, N.C./Polk County) took 12th with a throw of 116-2.

At the Florida Relays, the Mountaineers’ sprint medley relay team of Brekke, Catherine Crawford (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview), Micah Hanks (Yorktown, Va./Tabb) and Phylissa Greeley (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) took 10th with a time of 4:03.01. The distance medley group of Brekke, Torre Moser (Cary, N.C./Apex), Samantha Campanaro (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor) and Greeley finished in eighth with a time of 12:13.77.

Brianna Tate (Summerfield, N.C./Grimsley) finished in 12th place with a throw of 44-4.75 feet.

Appalachian State University men’s track and field concluded a busy weekend that saw the team split between both the VertKlasse Meeting at High Point University and the Florida Relays hosted by the University of Florida.

At the VertKlasse, Andrew Harris (Lexington, N.C./Lexington/Winthrop) finished in 10th place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:55.71. Peter Ovendorf (Weddington, N.C./Weddington) took 14th after crossing the line in 1:56.35.

In the 5,000-meter run, Ryan Shannon (Maiden, N.C./North Lincoln) took 13th with a time of 15:16.56. Evan Laratta (Angiers, N.C./Quince Orchard/LaSalle) took 21st and finished in a time of 15:38.91.

Andrew Spear (Newport, N.C./West Carteret) took eighth in the 110-meter hurdles and finished with a time of 15.46. Spear also took seventh in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.35.

Phillip Thomas (Cary, N.C./Cary) took sixth in group “A” pole vault after clearing 15-7.25.

At the Florida Relays, the Mountaineers’ sprint medley group of Marshall McRae (Red Springs, N.C./Red Springs), William Buckley (Durham, N.C./East Chapel Hill), Harris and Ryan Hastings (Matthews, N.C./Porter Ridge) took fourth place with a time of 3:23.44.

The distance medley team of Michael Ellis (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor), Jacob Sears, Evan Georges (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) and Trey Edgerton (Kings Mountain, N.C./Kings Mountain) finished in seventh with a time of 10:08.07.

In the shot put, Nathan Milch (Longwood, N.C./Lake Brantley) took sixth place with a throw of 54-9.25, while teammate Ellsworth Parham (Asheville, N.C./Christ School) took seventh with a distance of 54-6.

Appalachian State University softball dropped game one against UT Arlington 10-2 in five innings before the Mavericks won the second contest in dramatic fashion, 8-7, in the bottom of the eighth.

The Mountaineers fell to 7-29 overall, 1-10 in the Sun Belt and UTA improved to 25-6 on the season with a 4-4 mark in league action. For the day, Pepper Butler and Tiffany Taynor each had three hits while Cara Parker, Katie Mathewson and Jenny Dodd were each responsible for a pair of base knocks.

Game One: UTA 10, App State 2 (5 Inn.)

UT Arlington scored two runs in the first inning, two in the third, three in the fourth, and three in the bottom of the fifth to win by the run rule. App State scored both of its runs in the top half of the fourth when Butler singled in Taynor and Mathewson pushed across Heather Josey with a hit to center.

Vanessa Ciocatto (5-13) pitched 2.1 innings and gave up four runs, one earned, on three hits with one walk. In relief, Claire Eosso tossed two innings before the Mavs singled in a run for the mercy rule with one out in the bottom of the fifth.

Game Two: UTA 8, App State 7

The Black and Gold opened the nightcap with their biggest first inning of the season (six runs) and added one more in the third to take a commanding 7-0 advantage. The first four runs came on a Parker grand slam and Mathewson made it back to back with a solo shot to right. Casey Brescia brought in Taynor with a single to right for run No. six and run No. seven in the third came from Maddy Bloom's RBI hit.

Parker broke an 0-for-11 skid and now leads the team in batting average (.346), hits (36), home runs (8), and RBI (36). That was just Mathewson's second bomb of the season and first since the sixth game of the year. She is currently riding a season-high three-game hitting streak.

UTA proceeded to score one run in both the fourth and sixth frames to cut the margin to five, 7-2, and that set things up for a crazy bottom of the seventh. In that inning alone, Appalachian State was responsible for two errors, the hosts scored five runs to tie it up and all five were unearned. The next inning, the leadoff batter singled, stole second and scored on a single to right center to end the game.

The starter Ciocatto (5-14) surrendered two runs, one earned, and Annaleise Kennedy gave up six with only one earned. Ciocatto re-entered the game with one out in the bottom of the seventh before the two-run triple that knotted the game up.

Next up, the Mountaineers and Mavericks will play the final game of the series on Sunday with first pitch set for 12 p.m. ET.

Lenoir-Rhyne (26-12, 7-8) and Coker (22-14, 8-7) fought to a baseball doubleheader split on Saturday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference action at Bears Field. The Bears won the first game by a 22-9 score but the Cobras rebounded with a 15-6 victory in the nightcap.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 22, Coker 9
Senior first baseman Colby Dishmond (Statesville, N.C.) and senior designated hitter Will Thompson (Spartanburg, S.C.) both drove in four runs and the Bears put the game away early with a 10-run fourth inning.

Thompson had a bases-clearing double in the frame while Dishmond highlighted an eight-run seventh inning with a two-run home run. Junior third baseman David Newcomer (Archdale, N.C.) added three hits and three runs batted in for the Bears, who finished with 26 hits in the contest.

Miguel Frias (Longwood, Fla.) hit a solo home run while Will Winslow (Goldsboro, N.C.) drove in four runs in the losing effort for the Cobras.
On the mound, junior Patrick LaGanke (Raleigh, N.C.) improved to 5-0 on the season after being credited with the win in relief for the Bears.

Coker’s Forrest Arnold (West Columbia, S.C.) (3-3) took the loss.

Game Two – Coker 15, Lenoir-Rhyne 6 (seven innings)
The Cobras recovered to salvage the split with the Bears after jumping out to an 11-0 advantage midway through the fourth inning.

Winslow had two-run singles in both the second and fourth innings, respectively, for Coker and finished with a game-high five RBI in the contest.

Dishmond and sophomore outfielder Marcus Shoemaker (Colfax, N.C.) both drove in a pair of runs in the fifth inning to cut the margin to 11-5 but the deficit was too great to overcome.

Coker’s Will Sutton (Sanford, Fla.) improved to 3-2 on the year with the victory while Lenoir-Rhyne senior Matthew De La Rosa (Austin, Texas) (0-1) took the defeat.

Lenoir-Rhyne faces the Hickory Crawdads in an exhibition on Monday at 6:00 p.m., at L.P. Frans Stadium. Fans get in free with a Lenoir-Rhyne identification card.