Sports (549)

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s Lacrosse Team finished the year ranked No. 13 in the 2016 USILA/Nike NCAA Division II Coaches Poll. USILA is the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.

The Bears went 12-4 this spring including an 8-0 mark in the South Atlantic Conference.

In addition, Lenoir-Rhyne closed out the year with an 11-game winning streak and won both the SAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships.

The league regular season championship was the squad’s second in three years while the conference tournament title was the first in school history for the Bears.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led this year by several players including senior midfielder Carson Sterling (Durham, N.C.) and junior attacker Mike Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.).

Sterling totaled 32 goals, 11 assists and 43 points and was named the SAC Tournament Championship MVP while Hanlon led the squad in goals (38), assists (24) and total points (62). Both players earned First-Team All-SAC accolades.

USILA/Nike NCAA Division II
Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Final Poll

1. Limestone 19-0 (13)
2. LeMoyne 17-0 (1)
3. Merrimack 14-2
4. Mercyhurst 15-2
5. LIU Post 12-3
6. Tampa 14-2
7. NYIT 13-4
8. Mount Olive 13-4
9. Adelphi 12-5
10. Dowling 10-5
11t. Lake Erie 9-6
11t. Seton Hill 11-4
13t. Mercy 9-6
13t. Lenoir-Rhyne 12-4
15. Belmont Abbey 12-4
16. Molloy 10-5
17. Lindenwood 10-6
18. Rollins 10-6
19. Indianapolis 8-6
20. Colorado Mesa 13-4

Also receiving votes: Queens, Pace, St. Leo, Lynn, St. Anselm, Southern New Hampshire, Florida Southern

After limiting No. 19 UL Lafayette to one run over seven-plus innings in a 6-1 win, Appalachian State University baseball’s Breydan Gorham (Burlington, N.C./Western Alamance) has been named the Sun Belt Conference Community Coffee Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced on Monday afternoon.

Gorham’s honor comes on the heels of last Saturday’s gem against the 19th-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns. The true freshman silenced a crowd of 4,457 by holding UL Lafayette scoreless through seven full innings. He was lifted from the game after a walk and a single to start the eighth and was charged with his lone run after UL Lafayette finally got on the scoreboard with an RBI groundout later in the inning.

The right-hander scattered six hits, issued only one walk and struck out four in the impressive seven-plus-inning outing. The Cajuns did not advance a runner past second base while he was in the ballgame.

In his last two starts, Gorham (3-4) has allowed just two runs over 14 innings of work to lead Appalachian State to impressive wins over Arkansas State (9-2 on April 29) and No. 19 UL Lafayette. He has compiled an ERA of 1.29 and an opponents’ batting average of .188 in those two sterling performances.

Gorham is the second Mountaineer in as many weeks to earn an individual honor from the Sun Belt. Freshman outfielder Tanner Mann-Fix (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) was named the Sun Belt’s Student-Athlete of the Week last Monday after compiling a .467/.556/1.133 slash line in four games from April 26-30.

Gorham and the Mountaineers (15-33, 9-18 Sun Belt) close Sun Belt Conference play this weekend with a pivotal three-game home series versus UT Arlington (25-24, 11-13 Sun Belt). Appalachian State is one of four teams tied with nine conference victories this season. Three clubs will be left out of the eight-team Sun Belt Tournament, which begins on May 25 in San Marcos, Texas.

Game times for this weekend’s crucial series versus UTA are set for 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Appalachian State’s Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

The pairings have been released in the high school softball state playoffs. First round games must be played by Wednesday. First round matchups that feature Hickory Metro area teams include:

#11 – Bunker Hill (15-3) hosts #22 – Stuart Cramer (17-5)
#18 – Maiden (13-8) vs. #15 – Wilkes Central (11-6)
#23 – Draughn (14-8) vs. #10 – Parkwood (16-3)
#24 - Newton-Conover (11-7) vs. #9 - Brevard (13-9)
#25 - East Burke (13-9) vs. #8 - Lake Norman Charter (14-5)

#2 – Hibriten (20-2) hosts #31 – West Henderon (9-13)
#11 – Fred T. Foard (18-4) hosts #22 – St. Stephens (15-7)
#27 – Freedom (12-10) vs. #6 – Pisgah (18-4)

#3 – Alexander Central (20-2) hosts #30 – Reagan (9-10)
#9 - South Caldwell (14-7) hosts #24 - Mallard Creek (12-10)

You can see the full state playoff brackets by downloading the attachment below.

The pairings have been released in the high school baseball state playoffs. First round games must be played by Wednesday. First round matchups that feature Hickory Metro area teams include:

#13 – Maiden (13-9) hosts #20 – West Stanly (14-8)
#24 - Bunker Hill (16-6) at #9 - R-S Central (15-7)

#6 - St. Stephens (16-6) vs. #27 - Piedmont (11-11)
#18 – Freedom (12-10) at #15 – Carson (15-7)
#25 – Patton (12-10) at #8 – South Point (14-8)

#1 – South Caldwell (22-0) hosts #32 – Reagan (11-11)
#29 - Alexander Central (13-9) at #4 - Providence (21-1)

You can see the full state playoff brackets by downloading the attachment below.

The Catawba Valley Community College baseball team won 11 of their last 12 games but it wasn’t enough to catch the regular season champion Patrick Henry Community College. The Red Hawks finished the season with a 14-6 conference record to place them in third place behind Patrick Henry and a game behind Brunswick Community College. The Red Hawks will be the #4 seed in the Region X/Southeast District Tournament as Pasco-Hernando State College (Florida) enters the tournament as the #3 seed.

The Red Hawks will take on a familiar foe in #5 seed Wake Tech, who the Red Hawks played their final series against this weekend winning the series two games to one. Wake Tech gave the Red Hawks their first loss since the middle of April. The opening game will be played on Friday, at 4pm in Burlington at the Burlington Athletic Stadium, home of the Burlington Royals, a rookie affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

Region X/Southeast District Tournament Schedule (double elimination):

Friday, May 13
Game 1: 10:00am - #6 Southeastern vs. #3 Pasco-Hernando
Game 2: 1:00pm - #7 Surry vs. #2 Brunswick
Game 3: 4:00pm - #5 Wake Tech vs. #4 Catawba Valley
Game 4: 7:00pm - #8 New River vs. #1 Patrick Henry

Saturday, May 14
Game 5: 10:00am – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6: 1:00pm – Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 7: 4:00pm – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Game 8: 7:00pm – Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

Sunday, May 15
Game 9: 10:00am – Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 5
Game 10: 1:00pm – Loser Game 8 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 11: 4:00pm – Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
Game 12: 7:00pm – Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

Monday, May 16
Game 13: 3:00pm – Loser Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12
Game 14, Championship Game: 7:00pm – Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 13

Tuesday, May 17
Game 15, if necessary game: 1:00pm – Loser Game 14 vs. Winner Game 14

The pairings have been released in the high school girls soccer state playoffs. First round matchups that feature Hickory Metro area teams include:

#14 – East Davidson (11-7-3) vs. #19 – West Caldwell (12-8-0)
#6 – Parkwood (14-4-0) vs. #27 – Bunker Hill (8-11-0)
#2 – Newton-Conover (19-1-1) vs. #31 – Owen (6-12-1)

#5 – Hickory (15-1-5) vs. #28 – Sun Valley (11-10-0)
#7 – South Iredell (15-4-0) vs. #26 – Foard (11-9-1)
#10 – Hibriten (16-2-3) vs. #23 – Northwest Cabarrus (11-7-1)

#9 – East Forsyth (14-3-4) vs. #24 – South Caldwell (13-6-0)

You can see the full state playoff brackets by downloading the attachment below.

Appalachian State University softball snapped a 16-game losing streak in its final two games of the season on Sunday by sweeping North Carolina A&T with scores of 8-0 in six innings and 9-4 in the rematch.

“I’m excited to end the season on a positive note and it was great to send our seniors out with two wins at home,” said head coach Janice Savage. “I’m looking forward to our girls finishing strongly on their exams and beginning training for next season.”

The Black and Gold finished 2016 with an overall record of 11-45 while the Aggies head into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament at 17-30. In App State’s two wins, three Mountaineers finished with at least three hits on the day including Heather Josey (Statesville, N.C./North Iredell) (6-for-8), Ally Walters (Orange City, Fla./University) (3-of-3) and Megan Walker (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek) (3-for-5).

In game one, Josey turned in her first-career four-hit game and ended her sophomore campaign on an absolute tear. In the last four games, she was a combined 10-of-17 (.588) with four runs scored, three RBI, four doubles, and one home run. The right-handed first baseman raised her average by 32 points in that span from .287 to .319.

Walters didn’t play in game one against North Carolina A&T, but more than made up for lost time in the nightcap. In game two, she was a perfect 3-for-3 with five RBI, both of which are career highs for the freshman. Prior to today, she had never brought in more than two runs in a single game.

As for Walter’s fellow freshman, Walker, she saved her best for last. The Raleigh native ended her rookie year by going 8-of-16 (.500) with five runs scored, two RBI, one double, and one triple. Her average was .204 before that surge and .246 after it.

Not mentioned above is Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) who had two hits and four runs scored including a three-run home run in game one. In the single-season record books, the junior finished third in home runs with 12 and tied for third in RBI with 45. Career wise, she is now third in home runs with 30 and fourth in RBI with 99.

When it comes to RBI, Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) had two in game one to put her season total at 43. That mark is tied with Allie Cashion (2010) for the most by a freshman in program history. That’s just one of the notes that make her season one of the best by a first-year player in App State history.

Seniors Katherine Johnson (Alameda, Calif./Wichita State/Alameda) and Pepper Butler (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community) donned the Black and Gold for the final time on Sunday. Johnson was out due to injury while Butler had one hit in game two.

Game One: App State 8, North Carolina A&T 0 (6 Inn.)

Appalachian State scored three runs in the first, one in the fifth, four more in the sixth, and that was all the run support Annaleise Kennedy (Kents Store, Va./Fluvanna) (3-15) needed thanks to a brilliant start in the circle. Kennedy earned her third complete game of the season (first shutout) and needed just 76 pitches to complete the six innings pitched. The freshman gave up only one hit, three walks and struck out a career-high eight batters.

Team-wise, the Black and Gold had 12 hits to push their streak with 10-plus in a single game to three, the longest of the season.

Game Two: App State 9, North Carolina A&T 4

In game two, the Mountaineers were up 7-0 before North Carolina A&T could get anything going. The Aggies, however, did score three in the fourth and one in the fifth to cut the deficit to three, but it never got any closer than that. App State added two insurance runs in the home half of the fifth.

Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./Delaware State/La Habra) (8-21) got the start and went the distance with her eighth complete game of the season. Ciocatto gave up four earned runs on 10 hits with two free passes and three punchouts.

Looking ahead to 2017 and year three for coach Savage at the helm, Appalachian State will return 16 of its 18 players including its top five batting averages and four of the five pitchers that logged innings this season. Those 16 will be joined by a recruiting class with 16 more student-athletes in it.

It took 6 innings before the Hickory Crawdads got their bats going Sunday night, but once they did the 'Dads ran away with the game as Hickory scored 7 unanswered runs beginning in the 6th frame en route to a 7-2 win over the Charleston RiverDogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.

The Crawdads entered the 6th with only two hits on the night and trailing Charleston 2-0 before solo home runs by Chris Garia and Tyler Sanchez in the 6th and 7th innings tied the game at 2-2. The 'Dads then pulled away with a 4-run 8th and one final tally in the 9th for the final 7-2 score.

The win is the second straight for the Crawdads in the matchup of the two first place teams in the South Atlantic League.

The RiverDogs took their initial lead with a run in the 1st, as Chris Gittens doubled and Connor Spencer collected an RBI single to center off of Hickory starting pitcher Peter Fairbanks for a 1-0 score. The 'Dogs doubled their advantage to 2-0 in the 4th, when Spencer singled and came home on an RBI double from Angel Aguilar.

Fairbanks escaped the 4th without further damage before retiring the final 8 batters he faced to keep his team in the game. The Crawdads bats responded in the 6th, when Garia lined a solo shot inside the left field foul pole to cut the deficit to 2-1. One inning later, Sanchez unloaded a no-doubt solo blast to left to tie the score at 2-2.

The 'Dads then got to the RiverDogs bullpen in the 8th, scoring 4 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks to take their first lead of the night at 6-2. Andy Ibanez and Dylan Moore started the rally with consecutive walks, before Yeyson Yrizarri reached on a fielder's choice one out later to load the bases. Jose Almonte then delivered a 2-out, 2-RBI single to left to break the tie. Following a call to the bullpen that brought in right-handed reliever Claudio Custodio, LeDarious Clark came through with a 2-RBI double to left to give Hickory a 4-run lead.

The Crawdads tacked on their last tally in the 9th, when Frandy De La Rosa doubled off the wall in right before eventually scoring on an RBI groundout by Sanchez for the final 7-2 score.

Sanchez finished the game 2-4 with his third homer of the season and 2 RBI. Almonte went 1-4 with 2 RBI, Clark finished 1-3 with a double and 2 RBI, while Ibanez ended the night 2-4 with 2 doubles, a walk, and a run scored.

Hickory reliever Omarlin Lopez (2-1) earned the win with 1.2 scoreless innings pitched, while Charleston bullpen arm David Palladino (1-1) took the loss after surrendering 5 runs on 4 hits, 3 walks, and 3 Ks over 1.2 IP. Fairbanks received a no-decision for his efforts after going a season-high 6 innings and allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 3 strikeouts.

The Crawdads (21-9) and RiverDogs (19-10) will play again Monday night at 7:05 pm in game three of their 4-game series.

Despite a lead-off home run and quality outing from Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern), Appalachian State University baseball fell in the series finale to No. 19 UL Lafayette on Sunday afternoon at Tigue Moore Field. The Mountaineers (15-33, 9-18 Sun Belt) gave up three runs in the eighth inning and dropped game three to the Ragin’ Cajuns (31-17, 16-8 Sun Belt), 4-1.

The match up featured a battle of true freshman pitchers between App State’s Schmid and UL Lafayette’s Nick Lee. After both pitchers gave extra-base hits to the first batters they saw, Schmid and Lee settled in with neither pitcher allowing a run in the second through the seventh inning.

Schmid’s day came to a close after 6.1 innings, allowing just one run on four hits. Schmid struck out three and walked two. Lee exited after seven innings with a career-tying eight strikeouts.

Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) did not waste any time getting App State on the scoreboard as he blasted the second pitch of the game over the right-field wall. The homer was Stroup’s fifth of the season, tying Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) (Florence-Darlington Tech) for the team lead.

UL Lafayette also got started quickly with a lead-off triple from Hunter Kasuls off the right-field wall. Kasuls was batted in on a ground out to shortstop.

After Lee retired 12-striaght Mountaineers from the first through the fourth, App State had back-to-back innings with multiple base-runners. Both times Lee was able to escape with no damage done, striking out Beau Myers (Thomasville, N.C./Wesleyan Christian Academy) to end the fifth and forcing Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) into a 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth.

Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Rosewood) entered the game for Schmid in the seventh and issued a walk to load the bases but got out of the jam with a foul pop up and ground out to third.

After lead-off single for the Cajuns in the bottom of the eighth, ULL went to small-ball tactics with three-straight bunts. The first bunt slipped past Howell for a base hit. The second bunt was a sacrifice, moving the runners over to second and third. On the third bunt attempt, the flip home by Howell was not in time to stop the go-ahead run from reaching home plate.

After a stolen base put runners on second and third, Brad Anchak drove them in with a single through the left side of the infield. ULL’s three runs in the bottom of the eighth put them up 4-1, a lead that they would not give up in the ninth inning.

App State will return to Smith Stadium next weekend for its final Sun Belt series of the season against UT Arlington. Game times are set for 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Appalachian State University softball gave up a 7-3 lead in game one before North Carolina Central walked off with a 9-7 win. NCCU took the nightcap as well by a score of 8-5.

The Mountaineers (9-45) entered Saturday with an all-time record of 10-0 against the Eagles (8-42) who ended their 2016 campaign with two wins on Senior Day inside UNC's Anderson Softball Stadium.

For the day, four App State student-athletes had at least three hits including Natalie Orcutt (5-for-8), Jenny Dodd (4-of-7), Heather Josey (4-for-9), and Megan Walker (3-of-6). Orcutt had multiple hits in back-to-back games for the first time since April 6 and Josey hadn't had three base knocks in a single contest since March 19. As for Dodd, she is six for her last 11 (.545) and Walker is five for her last 11 (.455).

The Black and Gold also hit three home runs on the day, which raised their season total to 46 and broke the program's single-season record of 45 set last season. Katie Mathewson hit her third of the year in game one before Cara Parker (11) and Josey (9) each had a blast in the rematch.

Game One: NCCU 9, App State 7

Through one inning, App State trailed North Carolina Central 3-1 after a three-run Eagle home run. The Mountaineers came out of the deficit swinging, though. In the top of the third, Pepper Butler hit a two-run double and Mathewson hit her two-run bomb to center and Appalachian State was up 5-3. The Black and Gold added a run in the fourth with a bases-loaded walk and one more in the fifth with Josey's RBI double to go up 7-3.

NCCU tied things up in the bottom of the sixth before winning it with a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh.

In the circle, Annaleise Kennedy lasted just one inning with three earned runs given up and then Vanessa Ciocatto (7-21) came in. The junior surrendered six runs, five earned, on seven hits in the final five and one-third frames.

Game Two: NCCU 8, App State 5

In a back-and-forth game two, there were two ties and one lead change before the top of the fourth inning. At that point, App State was losing by one, 6-5, to homestanding North Carolina Central. In the home half of the fifth, the Eagles added two insurance runs to go up 8-5 and that's where the score stood.

Starter, Claire Eosso (0-5), went three innings and gave up six runs, two earned, on seven hits. Kennedy was responsible for the other three frames and surrendered two unearned runs on just two hits. Defensively, the Mountaineers had seven errors on the day, three in game one and four more in game two.

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