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The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (12-2) swept a doubleheader from Salem International (1-9), 14-3 and 6-2, Saturday afternoon at Bears Field.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 14, Salem International 3
Lenoir-Rhyne senior shortstop Matthew De La Rosa (Austin, Texas) hit a home run and drove in five runs to lead the Bears to the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne took control early thanks to a four-run first inning highlighted by two-run single from De La Rosa and the Bears pushed their advantage to 11-1 after five innings of play.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore outfielder Marcus Shoemaker (Colfax, N.C.) and senior designated hitter Will Thompson (Spartanburg, S.C.) both drove in a pair of runs while sophomore Austin Hancock (Defiance, Ohio) improved to 2-0 with the win.

Hancock allowed just two runs while striking out eight batters while Colton Lankford (Rowlett, Texas) (0-1) suffered the loss for the Tigers.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Salem International 2 (seven innings)
Once again, the Bears took charge early – aided by a three-run first inning – on their way to the sweep. De La Rosa drove in two more runs including an RBI double in the first inning.

De La Rosa and senior designated hitter Ryan Perkins (Woodruff, S.C.) both finished with three hits while junior Thomas St. Clair (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (1-0) was credited with the win for the Bears.

In addition, Lenoir-Rhyne junior John Curtis (Lenoir, N.C.) pitched the final three innings for his first save of the year. Salem International’s Talon Kunkel (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA) fell to 0-2 after taking the loss.

The two teams wrap up the weekend series with a single game on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, 27 February 2016 22:51

App State Softball Falls Twice in Rock Hill

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Appalachian State University softball was held to just one run on three hits in a 4-1 loss to Brown before Wagner walked off with a 5-3 win over the Mountaineers in the second game of the day.

App State’s record now sits at 2-12 while the Bears and the Seahawks both improved to 2-1 with their wins. Brown and Wagner were set to play each other for the nightcap.

Tiffany Taynor (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./New Smyrna Beach) and Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) were the lone student-athletes with two hits as Taynor went 2-for-3 with a run scored in game two and Parker had a base knock in each game including the game-tying three-run home run against the Seahawks in the top of the seventh.

Game One: Brown 4, App State 1

In the top of the second, Parker singled to the shortstop with one out, moved over to third with a groundout and a stolen base before coming in to score thanks to Katie Mathewson’s (Hickory, N.C./Hickory) single.

However, Brown went ahead 2-1 in that inning and 4-1 with a run in both the fourth and fifth frames. That was all the support Bears’ starter Katie Orona (2-0) needed as she went the distance with one earned run given up on three hits, three walks and nine strikeouts. Orona’s ERA is now 1.00 through 14 innings of action.

Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./Delaware State) (La Habra) (1-5) suffered the loss with two earned runs surrendered in two innings pitched. In relief, Annaleise Kennedy (Kents Store, Va./Fluvanna) tossed four innings with the final two earned runs given up on six hits.

Game Two: Wagner 5, App State 3

With Wagner ahead 3-0 in the top of the seventh, Pepper Butler (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community) walked and Taynor singled to put runners on first and second for Parker. As mentioned above, Parker came through with the game-tying three-run blast and the score was knotted up at 3-3.

The tie didn’t last long as Hana Gilbert walked it off in the bottom of the seventh for the Seahawks with one out and Brianna Tredway standing on first base.

Starter Katherine Johnson (Alameda, Calif./Wichita State/Alameda) lasted just one inning and Ciocatto (1-6) took the loss with 5.1 innings of work, five runs, three earned, on seven hits, two free passes and one punchout.

The Black and Gold will wrap up their play in Rock Hill on Sunday against Towson with first pitch set for 12 p.m. Appalachian already saw the Tigers a week ago at Coastal Carolina and lost by a score of 11-1 in six innings.

Saturday, 27 February 2016 22:47

Appalachian State Men's Tennis Sweeps The Citadel

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Appalachian State University men’s tennis won its fourth-straight match as it dominated The Citadel, 7-0, at Earle Tennis Center on Saturday.

“This whole season we’ve been playing really well at the doubles, and our singles play today matched that intensity,” head coach Bob Lake said. “I’m really proud of the wins we’ve gotten on the road and look forward to tomorrow.”

The Mountaineers (6-3) came out of the gate hot, but, more importantly, were able to finish strong, only dropping three total sets all day to the Bulldogs (7-10).

In doubles play, Zach Bost (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) and Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C./Abraham Baldwin Agricultural/Madison County) set the tone early, taking the No. 3 spot 6-0 before Jan-Willem Kleynhans (Stellenbosch, South Africa/Paul Roos Gymnasium) and Scott Webster (Swanbourne, Australia/Scotch College) secured the doubles point for Appalachian right after, winning the No. 2 position 6-2.

The No. 1 doubles spot was played out and went right to the end, as Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia/Lambton) and Oliver Casey (Melbourne, Australia/Carey Baptist) battled through a back-and-forth affair. Despite the pressure, the Maddocks/Casey duo finished strong and took the spot, 7-6.

In singles, Maddocks was the first to finish, taking the No. 3 spot over Matthew Henson, 6-2, 6-1. Morris was next at the No. 5 spot as he downed Michael Anzalone, 6-4, 6-3, while Kleynhans defeated Jackson Pride at the No. 4 in a tough battle, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, securing the match point for the Mountaineers.

Despite match point, the rest of the singles would be played out.

Bost had to battle back from behind at the No. 6, after dropping the first set to Trey Davis, 4-6. After that, Bost found his rhythm and fought back to take the position, 7-5, 6-0. Webster won a tough-fought No. 1 over Artemie Amari, 6-3, 6-3, but it was Casey at the No. 2 that would last the longest of the day for Appalachian.

Casey took Nicholas Bradley to tiebreakers in the first two sets of the match, winning the first 7-6, but falling in the second 5-7. It wasn’t until the third set that Casey was able to create some distance as he won 6-1, taking the match and securing the 7-0 sweep for the Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers return to action Sunday as they stay in Charleston, S.C. to take on College of Charleston. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Saturday, 27 February 2016 22:45

Lenoir-Rhyne Women Win at Home on Senior Day

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team (12-14, 11-11) earned a berth to the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Championship with a 64-52 victory over Mars Hill (15-12, 14-8) on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior center Shelly Harper (Cincinnati, Ohio) led all scorers with a season-high 28 points and hit 13-of-15 field goal attempts while junior forward Morgan Cooper (Virginia Beach, Va.) added 13 points as the Bears ended the regular season on a seven-game winning streak at home.

Mars Hill, which couldn’t hold a 31-25 advantage at halftime, was paced by Ansley Ricker (Greeneville, Tenn.) with a team-high 16 points while Cadence Wilmoth (Glade Springs, Va.) added 13 points in the losing effort.

Lenoir-Rhyne broke the game open in the third period, when the Bears outscored the Lions by a 23-8 margin. Lenoir-Rhyne also held a 38-30 edge in rebounding and forced Mars Hill into 19 turnovers.

Lenoir-Rhyne, 4-1 in its last five contests, earned the eighth seed in the South Atlantic Conference Championship and will face top-seeded and regular season champion Anderson (20-5) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., at the Abney Athletic Center in Anderson, S.C., in the quarterfinal round. The Trojans are ranked No. 21 in NCAA Division II.

Mars Hill is the fourth seed in the tournament and will host fifth-seeded Lincoln Memorial (16-11) on Wednesday in the first round as well beginning at 7:00 p.m. The semifinals and finals of the league championship will take place on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, at Timmons Arena in Greenville, S.C.

Appalachian State University men’s basketball could not overcome a Georgia State 31-5 run midway through the first half and dropped its second game in a row on Saturday, 83-70, inside the GSU Sports Arena.

The Mountaineers (7-22, 5-13 Sun Belt) were led offensively by true freshman Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) who finished with a game-high 23 points on 7-for-15 shooting from the field. Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) notched 17 and Jacob Lawson (Reidsville, N.C./Oak Ridge Military/Purdue) finished just shy of a career-high with 15 points. Lawson’s career-high of 16 came at UL Monroe on Feb. 14 last season.

On the other side, the Panthers (15-12, 8-10 Sun Belt) were led by Jeremy Hollowell’s 18 points, while Isaiah Williams and Kevin Ware notched 14 points apiece. T.J. Shipes was the fourth Panther in double-figures and netted 11 points.

Appalachian got off to a quick start in the first half and jumped out to a 12-6 lead at the first media timeout. Both teams would trade the lead once before App State would gain a 15-13 lead on an Emarius Logan (Columbia, S.C./White Knoll).

Georgia State would counter with an ensuing 31-5 run that opened up GSU’s largest lead of the game at 24 points. The run would also lead to a 49-30 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, the Mountaineers slowly but surely chipped away and got as close as 11 points after a Lawson three-point play. However, a Panther 8-1 run re-opened a 17-point advantage and the Panthers would go back up by as many as 19 and held strong for a 13-point victory.

Appalachian State will close the regular season out at home next week when it plays host to both Little Rock and Arkansas State. The game against Arkansas State on Saturday, March 5 will also serve as Senior Day.

Saturday, 27 February 2016 22:42

App State Women's Basketball Edges Out Georgia State

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For the second time in as many games, Appalachian State University women’s basketball (10-17, 7-11) needed late-game heroics to come away with an exhilarating 72-69 win over Georgia State Saturday afternoon in the GSU Sports Arena.

With the win, the Mountaineers have a two-game cushion over GSU (10-17, 5-13) for the eighth seed in the conference tournament, while the victory gave the Apps a 2-0 finish on the road in league play for the first time this season.

Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) pumped in a career-high 28 points while shooting an impressive 12-for-17 (70.5 percent) in a game-high 38 minutes of action. The junior guard came up with big plays in the final quarter once again with 11 of her 17 second-half points. Kaila Craven (Asheboro, N.C./Southwest Randolph) didn’t play like a freshman on Saturday, pouring in a personal-best 18 points off the bench while draining a career-best four 3-pointers, three of which either tied the game or gave Appalachian the lead.

Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) stuffed the stat sheet with six points, a team-high seven boards, four assists and four swipes.


KeKe Cooper (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman) added in 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field with three blocks and five boards. The senior didn’t set any career highs, but she did make perhaps the two biggest plays of the season for the Mountaineers in the thick of the tournament race.

With 27 seconds left in the game and the Mountaineers trailing, 69-67, Cooper grabbed the offensive board over two defenders off the missed layup, went up strong to convert the putback in spite of being fouled and tied the game at 69-all. Moments later, Cooper hit the free throw to put the Apps up by one, 70-69.

On the following possession, Georgia State’s Makeba Ponder went left for the layup before Cooper came from help side to pick up the crucial block, while Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) snagged the rebound.

Still leading by just one with six seconds left, Craven stepped up to the line after drawing the foul and hit the two biggest free throws of the game that gave Appalachian a 72-69 advantage, and put pressure on GSU to hit a 3-pointer to tie the game. Georgia State had chance to tie with a tightly-contested 3-pointer, but fell way short, sealing the win for the Mountaineers.

The trio of Jones, Craven and Cooper scored 57 of the team’s 72 points (79 percent) while shooting 23-for-39 (59 percent) from the field.

It was a close game throughout, as the Mountaineers and Panthers exchanged 14 ties and 14 lead changes while neither team led by more than five points.

Appalachian took an early 9-4 lead in the opening 3:46 of the contest once Jones hit one of her three layups in the period. GSU cut the deficit to one, 11-10, with 3:03 left in the first stanza. Cooper extended the lead back to five, 15-10, on a jumper that was assisted on by Carter. App State was on top of the hosts for the rest of the frame taking a 17-14 advantage.

Craven’s trifecta with 9:28 left in second quarter put the Apps up 20-16. However, an 11-2 run over a 4:01 span gave Georgia State its largest lead of the game at five, 27-22. Appalachian responded with a 9-4 run to cut the lead to one, 32-31, thanks to a layup from Cooper with 45 seconds left. After a GSU layup on the following possession, Craven drained one from long distance to tie things up going into the break, 34-34.

Both teams shot well in the first half with Appalachian shooting an even 50 percent and Georgia State shooting 51.7 percent. Jones and Craven totaled 21 points between the duo guards on 9-for-13 shooting while Cooper went 4-of-6 for eight points.

The Sun Belt foes went back and forth in the third quarter. Trailing 42-38 with 5:23 left in the contest, Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) sparked a 5-0 spurt that was capped off by a corner trifecta from Craven that pushed App State to a 43-42 advantage. From the 5:04 mark until the end of the third quarter, the Apps and Panthers finished with seven lead changes before the Black and Gold took a 50-49 lead into the fourth quarter when Mia Marshall (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) received a nifty pass from Carter for the layin.

Story got the ball rolling with three-straight points in the final period to extend the Apps’ lead to three, 52-49. But like the previous three frames, the Panthers didn’t go away quietly where they scored 10 of the next 14 points to take a 59-57 lead with 4:56 left in the game. App State scored on back-to-back jumpers from Jones that gave App State a 61-59 lead. But the Panthers sprinted to a 65-62 lead with 2:35 left in the contest off a 6-1 run.

Coming in the clutch moments later was Craven on the offensive end, where she hit a 3-pointer to tie the contest, 65-65. GSU and App State traded two more baskets that gave GSU a 69-67 lead with 1:19 left in the game, setting up the final theatrics.

In the fourth quarter, App State came away with seven offensive rebounds to GSU’s two boards on the offensive end. The Panthers did have 13 offensive rebounds (Appalachian - eight offensive rebounds) entering the final period. Appalachian also went 8-for-9 in the fourth quarter (11-for-13 overall).

App State will conclude the regular season with the final home stretch against the top two teams in the conference, starting with Little Rock on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Holmes Center.

Quotable
“For the last 48 hours, we talked about how this game was going to come down to rebounding the basketball. Our team was on a mission in the fourth quarter and I am extremely proud of our second effort and commitment. Joi Jones put this team on her back and everyone responded by leaving their best effort on the court.” - head coach Angel Elderkin

Saturday, 27 February 2016 15:49

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Team Swept by Queens

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Team (5-5, 1-1) was dealt a 9-0 setback to the hands of Queens (4-1, 2-0) Friday afternoon at Hickory High School in a South Atlantic Conference match.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to take on Tusculum in a South Atlantic Conference match on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

Queens, meanwhile, hosts Anderson on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Final
Queens 9, Lenoir-Rhyne 0
February 26, 2016
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Carlotta Nassi (QU) def. Dominique Bruce (LR), 6-2, 6-0
2. Marta Gonzalez (QU) def. Marta Escanero Funes (LR), 6-2, 6-2
3. Melissa Laing (QU) def. Julia Ponomareva (LR), 3-6, 7-5, 1-0
4. Caroline Nielsen (QU) def. Lucy Stofberg (LR), 6-0, 6-2
5. Claire Hamilton (QU) def. Taylor Fredrickson (LR), 6-2, 6-4
6. Hannah Lehfeldt (QU) def. Jessica Rumple (LR), 6-0

Doubles competition:
1. Melissa Laing/Carlotta Nassi (QU) def. Dominique Bruce/Marta Escanero Funes (LR), 8-5
2. Caroline Nielsen/Marta Gonzalez (QU) def. Julia Ponomareva/Lucy Stofberg (LR), 8-3
3. Claire Hamilton/Hannah Lehfeldt (QU) def. Taylor Fredrickson/Jessica Rumple (LR), 8-1

Records: Queens (4-1, 2-0 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (5-5, 1-1 SAC)

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Team (1-2) earned its first win of the 2016 season with a 13-10 triumph over Florida Tech (2-1) Friday evening at Panthers Stadium. Florida Tech is ranked No.14 in NCAA Division II.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior attacker Mike Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.) scored three goals while senior midfielder Carson Sterling (Durham, N.C.) added a pair of scores and two assists in the victory. Hanlon and Sterling rank first and second on the team in goals with eight and seven, respectively.

Florida Tech, which suffered its first loss of the year, was paced by Logan Sweeney (Sykesville, Md.) with a game-high four goals despite the setback.

The Bears broke a five-all tie at intermission by outscoring the Panthers by a 5-1 margin in the third period to take control. Senior attacker Taylor Thilo (Greensboro, N.C.) scored the game-winner just 21 seconds into the second half.

Freshman attacker Joe Buduo (Shrewsbury, Md.) added two goals as well for the Bears, who held the edge in both shots taken (41-36) and ground balls (32-25) in the contest.

In goal, sophomore Ryan Crompton (Frederick, Md.) earned the win for Lenoir-Rhyne after tallying 10 saves while Florida Tech’s Christian Koch (Sykesville, Md.) made 13 stops but suffered the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains on the road to take on Florida Southern on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., in Lakeland, Fla.

Appalachian State University softball was on the right side of the scoreboard for the first time this season as it swept day one of the Winthrop/Adidas Tournament with wins over Canisius (8-2) and Rider (8-0/5 Inn.).

“Today was a great first step for us this season,” said head coach Janice Savage. “We’ve been talking about how things are going to come together for us and I knew it was just a matter of time. Our kids have worked hard and stayed positive, so I’m glad they are starting to see the rewards of that dedication. It was also good to see our pitchers bounce back today and pitch effectively.”

The Mountaineers improved their overall record to 2-10 by scoring 16 runs on 15 hits, while the Golden Griffins fell to 1-8 and the Broncos dropped to 0-2 on their opening day. Tiffany Taynor (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./New Smyrna Beach) and Heather Josey (Statesville, N.C./North Iredell) each had themselves three-hit days as Taynor scored three runs in two games and Josey tallied two runs scored and two RBI, both in game two.

Game One: App State 8, Canisius 2

In the first contest against Canisius, App State scored one run in the bottom of both the first and second frames. Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) singled in Megan Walker (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek) in the first and in the second, Maddy Bloom (Princeton Junction, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro North) brought in Katie Mathewson (Hickory, N.C./Hickory) with a groundout to the pitcher.

After the Golden Griffins tied things up at 2-2 with a run in the third and another in the fourth, the Black and Gold took over with a two spot in the fifth and four more runs in the sixth.

In the fifth, Taynor singled up the middle to lead things off, moved to second on a groundout and then to third with a Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) base knock to center. With Mathewson in the box, Taynor scored on a wild pitch that moved Parker to third as well. One out later, Pepper Butler (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community) reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and Parker crossed the plate to make it 4-2.

The following inning, the Apps did all their damage with two outs. Taynor was hit by a pitch, Dodd walked and Parker singled to the pitcher before Haley Stewart made a pinch-hit appearance. Stewart came through with a grand slam to left center and the Mountaineers took a commanding 8-2 advantage.

That blast was the Mountaineers first grand slam since Parker’s on Feb. 6 of last season against UAB and it was the first pinch-hit grand slam for App State since Caroline Williams’ on April 28, 2012 at Samford.

In the circle, Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./Delaware State/La Habra) (1-4) went the distance with Appalachian State’s first complete game of the season. The junior finished with two earned runs allowed on eight hits, one walk and four strikeouts.

Game Two: App State 8, Rider 0 (5 Inn.)

Game two belonged to App State from the get-go as the Mountaineers tallied two in the first, five in the third and one more in the top of the fifth to win by the run rule.

In the first, the two runs came in when Josey doubled home Natalie Orcutt (Senoia, Ga./Starr’s Mill) and Dodd pushed across Josey with a sacrifice fly to center. Appalachian was just getting started, though, and put up a five spot in the third.

Parker scored Dodd on a fielder’s choice, two runs scored on bases-loaded hit-by-pitches and two more came in on walks with the bases loaded.

Katherine Johnson (Alameda, Calif./Wichita State/Alameda) got the start and went one inning before Annaleise Kennedy (Kents Store, Va./Fluvanna) (1-1) came on in relief to earn her first career win. Kennedy went the final four innings with no runs given up on just one hit and one punchout.

App State will play another doubleheader tomorrow against Brown (1 p.m.) and Wagner (3 p.m.). Live stats will be available for both games right here at AppStateSports.com.

The Queens Men’s Tennis Team (4-1, 2-0) defeated Lenoir-Rhyne (4-4, 1-1), 8-1, in a South Atlantic Conference contest Friday afternoon at Hickory High School.

Despite the loss, the Bears did prevail at first singles when senior Patrick Bauer (Helmstedt, GERMANY) won over the Royals’ Per-Erik Soler (Nice, FRANCE) by scores of 6-4, 0-6 and 0-3.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to take on Tusculum on Saturday in a South Atlantic Conference match beginning at 1:00 p.m.

NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Final
Queens 8, Lenoir-Rhyne 1
February 26, 2016
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Patrick Bauer (LR) def. Per-Erik Soler (QU), 6-4, 0-6, 6-3
2. Jules Athalis (QU) def. Tomas Hons (LR), 6-2, 6-1
3. Andor Vas (QU) def. Shane O'Dea (LR), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. Giovanni Setti (QU) def. Alex Crespo Sanchez (LR), 6-3, 7-5
5. Jordan Owens (QU) def. Filip Dobrosavljevic (LR), 6-7, 6-3, 6-3
6. Ole-Jacob Meum (QU) def. Matthew Ledford (LR), 3-6, 6-3, 10-1

Doubles competition:
1. Per-Erik Soler/Andor Vas (QU) def. Patrick Bauer/Shane O'Dea (LR), 8-5
2. Jules Athalis/Giovanni Setti (QU) def. Tomas Hons/Matthew Ledford (LR), 9-7
3. Jordan Owens/Will Roberson (QU) def. Filip Dobrosavljevic/Alex Crespo Sanchez (LR), 8-3

Records: Queens (4-1, 2-0 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (4-4, 1-1 SAC)