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The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (12-0) remained unbeaten on the season with a doubleheader sweep of Mount Olive (6-8), 8-3 and 5-3, Saturday afternoon at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 8, Mount Olive 3 (nine innings)
The Bears exploded for six runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the first contest of the doubleheader over the Trojans. Lenoir-Rhyne junior outfielder Ashley Oliver (Newton, N.C.) broke a two-all tie in the frame with the game-winning RBI double.

Freshman second baseman Madison Poe (Siler City, N.C.) and sophomore outfielder Dakota Keller (Mooresboro, N.C.) each drove in two runs for the Bears while Lenoir-Rhyne junior Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) earned the win on the mound.

Hole improved to 6-0 on the season after striking out eight batters to go along with three unearned runs while Mount Olive’s Madison Johnston (Wilmington, N.C.) fell to 4-3 after taking the loss.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 5, Mount Olive 3
The Bears plated three runs in the top of the first inning while junior designated player Jordin Phillips (Hampstead, N.C.) hit the game-winning solo home run in the top of the sixth inning as Lenoir-Rhyne completed the sweep of the Trojans.

Phillips drove in two runs while junior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) also improved to 6-0 on the season after going the distance and striking out six batters.

For Mount Olive, Lauren McGrath (Rocky Mount, N.C.) hit a two-run home run but Lauren Smith (Clinton, N.C.) fell to 2-5 after suffering the loss on the mound.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains on the road to face Belmont Abbey in a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m., in Belmont, N.C.

No. 16 Lenoir-Rhyne (11-1, 4-1) split a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon with Wingate (8-3, 5-3) at Ron Christopher Stadium. The Bulldogs snapped the Bears’ record 19-game winning streak in the first contest, 8-6, but Lenoir-Rhyne took the nightcap by an 8-1 score.

Game One – Wingate 8,
Lenoir-Rhyne 6
The Bulldogs hit three home runs – Bradley Brown (Rockingham, N.C.), Brad Cherry (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) and Shane Billings (Kernersville, N.C.) all connected – as Wingate took the first contest.

With the score tied at one, the Bulldogs took the lead for good with a four-run second inning highlighted by a two-run home run from Brown. Brown finished with three hits and three runs batted in to lead the Bulldogs offensively.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior catcher Colby Dishmond (Statesville, N.C.) drove in four runs despite the loss. Dishmond had two-run doubles in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, for the Bears.

On the mound, Brett Morgan (Clemmons, N.C.) improved to 3-0 on the year after taking the win while Tyler Brown (Suffolk, Va.) picked up his first save on the season. Lenoir-Rhyne senior Ivan Vieitez (Miami, Fla.) fell to 2-1 after suffering the loss.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 8, Wingate 1
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore Thomas St. Clair (Winston-Salem, N.C.) allowed just one run to go along with 13 strikeouts while pitching into the sixth inning as the Bears salvaged the split. St. Clair improved to 3-0 in the process as well.

Vieitez was the Bears’ top offensive player for the game, finishing with three hits and four RBI including a two-run double in the third inning. Senior second baseman Brantley Rumford (Rock Hill, S.C.) also drove in two runs for the Bears.

For Wingate, Jimmy Doolittle (Charlotte, N.C.) (1-2) took the loss while Nick Triplett (Shelby, N.C.) drove in the Bulldogs’ lone run.

The two teams wrap up the weekend South Atlantic Conference series with a single game on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Teams competed Saturday at the Kent Taylor Invitational in the Eddie Smith Field House on the campus of the University of North Carolina.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior Zach Millsaps (Statesville, N.C.) set a new school record in the men’s one-mile run, finishing third overall with a time of 4:25.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior Kevin Baxter (Columbia, S.C.) won again in the men’s 60-meter hurdles. Baxter, who has already qualified for the indoor national finals in the event, clocked an 8.01 seconds. Baxter has won the event three times this season.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior Anthony Downs (Chapin, S.C.) was fourth in the men's weight throw (48'9.5") as well.

Also on the men’s side, the Bears had three fifth-place finishes: sophomore Sterling Jones (Winston-Salem, N.C.) in the 60-meter hurdles (8.67), sophomore Charles Koontz (Flemington, N.J.) in the 800-meter run (2:02.73) and freshman Jacob Hall (Lenoir, N.C.) in the 400-meter run (51.85).

In the women’s competition, junior Paige Smith (Ramseur, N.C.) placed fifth in the 800-meter run (2:35.22) and 11th in the one-mile run (5:38.52) for the Bears.

In addition, Lenoir-Rhyne junior Hope Rust (New Bern, N.C.) was eighth in the women’s 3,000-meter run (11:42.80) while junior Vertrice Wilson (Carrollton, Ga.) was ninth in the women’s 200-meter dash (27.80).

Lenoir-Rhyne next competes in the George Mason Last Chance Meet in Fairfax, Virginia, on Sunday, March 1.

Appalachian State University baseball’s Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) and Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) combined for nine hits and five RBI in Saturday’s doubleheader split with Canisius at Lexington Sports Complex. Behind Dobson’s 3-for-3, three-RBI performance, Appalachian State won the opener, 8-4, but despite Pierson going 3-for-5 in the nightcap, Canisius earned the split with a 4-2 victory.

Dobson headlined the Mountaineers’ eight-run output in Game One with a two-out RBI triple in the third inning and a two-out, two-run home run that gave Appalachian the lead for good in the fifth.

Bradley Morton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) chipped in with a leadoff homer on Canisius’ first pitch of the game and freshmen Carson Jones (Asheville, N.C./North Buncombe) and Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) added two RBI apiece in the bottom of the eighth to turn what was a narrow 4-3 lead into a commanding 8-3 advantage.

Despite the offensive outburst, the story of the opener was 3.2 innings of stellar relief pitching by freshman Ryan Ross (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant) and senior Taylor Thurber (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman), which allowed Appalachian State to rally from a 3-2 deficit.

Ross relieved starter Jeffrey Springs (Belmont, N.C./South Point) with one out in the fifth inning and turned in 2.1 innings of hitless relief before handing the ball over to Thurber with a runner on third and two outs in the seventh. Thurber worked the Mountaineers out of the jam in seventh and retired the side in the eighth.

The impressive showing out of the bullpen earned Ross (1-0) the first win of his career.

In the nightcap, Appalachian State (2-2) outhit Canisius (3-3), 9-4, but could not overcome a litany of walks and wild pitches in the early stages of the ballgame.

The Mountaineers combined to issue five walks and throw two wild pitches over the first five innings, which allowed the Golden Griffins to take a 4-2 lead despite managing only four hits (three singles and a double).

Behind four no-hit innings of relief by freshman Travis Holden (Advance, N.C./West Forsyth) and a solo homer by Pierson in the seventh, App State pulled within a run. The Mountaineers came within inches of taking a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth when a would-be go-ahead two-run base hit by pinch-hitter Brandon Burris (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant) landed just foul down the right-field line. Burris went on to strike out and Appalachian went down in order in the ninth to end the ballgame.

Appalachian State and Canisius play the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday at noon at Lexington Sports Complex.

NOTES: Saturday’s meetings between Appalachian State and Canisius were the 10th and 11th in the programs’ series history, all since 2006 ... Appalachian leads the series, 7-4 ... Jones’ two-run double in the eighth inning of Game One was the first hit of his career ... fifth-year senior Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan), who missed the entire 2014 season due to a shoulder injury, recorded his first hit since May 25, 2013 with a leadoff single in the fourth inning of Game Two ... Appalachian State’s No. 1-4 hitters (Morton, Pierson, Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) and Dobson) combined to go 12-for-34 (.353) with a double, triple and three home runs during the doubleheader while the No. 5-9 hitters in the Mountaineers’ batting order combined to go 6-for-35 (.171) with one double over the course of the twinbill.

Sunday, 22 February 2015 12:02

Errors Hurt App State Softball in Loss to Winthrop

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Errors doomed Appalachian State University softball from the get-go on Saturday evening in an eventual 6-2 loss to Winthrop.

The Mountaineers (4-5) committed six errors in the game with four contributing to a two-run first inning for the Eagles. Paige Haley reached second base on a single followed by an error in center field. Haley would eventually come around to score following another error with Maddie Antone also crossing the plate via an error.

A 2-0 Winthrop lead extended to 3-0 on an error to start the third inning. Zhame Glover made it to second base safely on a Black and Gold error and eventually scored on back-to-back ground outs.

In the fifth inning, a 3-0 Eagle lead ballooned to 6-0. Haley led off with a triple and came in on an RBI single. Sara Allen worked a bases loaded walk and then a two-out error led to the third run of the inning for the Eagles.

A late rally was started by the Mountaineers in the seventh inning, which included RBI singles from Haley Stewart (Belmont, N.C./South Point) and Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) but were not enough to jump start anything substantial for the Apps.

Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./La Habra/Delaware State) started in the circle for Appalachian State and pitched four innings, allowing just three hits and two earned runs while walking two and striking out three.

Alissa Schoelkopf (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township/Monmouth) came into the game in relief and pitched two innings, allowing one hit and one earned run while walking two and fanning four batters.

The Mountaineers will conclude the Cougar Classic on Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader against both UMass and College of Charleston beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, 22 February 2015 11:59

L-R Men's Basketball Fall in Overtime

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The Tusculum Men’s Basketball Team (5-19, 5-14) rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to defeat Lenoir-Rhyne (8-16, 6-14), 85-76, in overtime Saturday afternoon at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

The Pioneers were led by Javon Price (Miami, Fla.) with a game-high 27 points including seven three-pointers while Zach Davis (Christiansburg, Va.) added 17 points off the bench as Tusculum avenged a double overtime loss to Lenoir-Rhyne earlier in the season.

The Pioneers tied the game at 69-all and forced overtime when Cory Fagan (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) hit a three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left and Tusculum used momentum to score 16 points in the extra frame on its way to the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior guard Will Perry (Wake Forest, N.C.) and freshman guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) were two of five players to score in double figures for the Bears with 17 points each despite the loss.

Matt Shown (Knoxville, Tenn.) also registered a double-double for the Pioneers – 12 points and 16 rebounds – as Tusculum saw its five-game losing streak come to an end.

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman guard Justice Morgan (Kennesaw, Ga.) scored 14 points and the Bears finished with 10 treys on the afternoon but suffered their ninth loss in their last 10 outings.

The Bears, who were ahead by a 55-42 score midway through the second half, were also hurt by six missed free throws in the overtime period.

Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to face Coker in Hartsville, S.C., on Wednesday beginning at 8:00 p.m., in a South Atlantic Conference game.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team (9-15, 8-12) defeated Tusculum (6-16, 6-13), 83-60, Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference game at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Four players scored in double figures for Lenoir-Rhyne, led by senior guard Jenni Gust (Colfax, Wis.) with a game-high 21 points, as the Bears completed the season sweep of the Pioneers.

Senior All-American guard Jazmine Charles (Lexington, N.C.) added 19 points as the Bears held a 51-31 edge in rebounding and limited the Pioneers to just 35 percent shooting (21-of-60) for the game and forced 19 turnovers.

Tusculum’s Shynese Whitener (Newton, N.C.) scored 14 points and Brianna Mitchell (Harrisonburg, Va.) added 12 points off the bench in the losing effort.

Lenoir-Rhyne raced to a 40-26 advantage at intermission and never looked back. The Bears were able to keep the Pioneers at bay by making 23 free throws in the second half.

Two players registered double-doubles for the Bears: sophomore forwards Brooke Robinson (Vale, N.C.) and Morgan Cooper (Virginia Beach, Va.). Robinson scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds while Cooper totaled 11 points and 10 boards in the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Hartsville, S.C., to face Coker on Wednesday in a South Atlantic Conference game at 6:00 p.m.

Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team fell to fifth ranked Louisburg College 89-68 Saturday night.

Cornelius Johnson led CVCC with 18 points. Kenny Lemon and Ray'Quelle Days each added 11 for the Red Hawks. Mon'Darius Blakc had eight points and four assists. Johnson and Lemon each grabbed seven rebounds as well.

The Red Hawks fall to 14-14 overall and 9-9 in the conference. CVCC hosts Vance-Granville College Sunday.

Sunday, 22 February 2015 11:38

App State Men's Basketball Falls to Georgia State

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Appalachian State University men’s basketball was held to its lowest scoring title in almost seven years as it dropped its fourth-straight Sun Belt conference contest, 87-43, to Georgia State on Saturday at GSU Sports Arena.

The Mountaineers (9-16, 6-10 Sun Belt) were held scoreless for the opening three and a half minutes of play as the Panthers( (19-8, 12-4) stayed in the hunt for a regular-season conference title.

Georgia State opened the game on a 6-0 run and never took its foot off the gas as it dealt Appalachian its worst loss more than two decades and exacted revenge for a stunning 74-69 loss when the teams met in Boone a month ago.

Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter, the Sun Belt’s top two scorers, scored the first four points of the game and combined for 42 points on the day as the Panthers cruised to their fourth-straight win and held their sixth-straight opponent under 30.0 percent from the floor.

Appalachian State shot just 18.5 percent (5-of-27) and scored a season-low 13 first-half points as Georgia State raced out to an early double-digit lead (15-5) when T.J. Shipes hit a layup just six and a half minutes in.

Dustin Clarke (Newland, N.C./Avery County [Hartford]) hit a three-pointer with 12:56 on the clock to cut the deficit to just nine points (17-8), but GSU reeled off an 8-0 run over the next four-plus minutes to stretch its lead to 19 (27-8) with just over eight minutes to play in the opening half.

Georgia State grabbed its first 20-point lead on Markus Crider’s dunk with 5:38 on the clock and finished the first half on a 12-0 run to take a 44-13 lead into the locker room.

While the Mountaineers shot significantly better in the second half (39.3 percent), it would never cut the deficit to less than 36 points and saw GSU’s lead balloon to 50 points (87-37) with just under three minutes to play. Landon Goesling (Irving, Texas/Coppell) scored four of Appalachian State’s final six points to make it 87-43 at the end.

Goesling and Mike Kobani (Bodo City, Nigeria/High Point Christian Academy) finished as App State’s leading scorers with seven points each while Goesling also tied for a team-high four rebounds. None of Appalachian State’s starters scored more than six points and Chris Burgess (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins) was held scoreless for the first time this season.

The Panthers were paced by 22 points from Hunter, who also dished out a game-high eight assists, and got 20 points from Harrow. Crider fell just shy of a double-double with 14 points and eight rebounds.

On the day, GSU shot an impressive 58.2 percent (32-of-55) from the floor while holding the Mountaineers to 29.1 percent (15-of-55) and won the rebounding battle by a 34-29 tally. The Panthers also forced 18 Appalachian turnovers, which led directly to 35 points.

Appalachian State returns to action on Thursday when it hosts arch rival Georgia Southern at 7:30 p.m. as part of a season-ending, four-game homestand.

NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 1-3 all-time against Georgia State ... the Mountaineers’ 43 points were their lowest since a 78-43 loss at Texas on Jan. 2, 2009 ... the 44-point margin of defeat was the most since a 76-32 loss at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 7, 1995 ... the 13 first-half points were the fewest in a single half since the Apps scored nine in the first half of a 69-37 loss at Virginia Tech on Dec. 10, 2006 ... Georgia State finished with a 40-18 edge in the paint and a 21-5 advantage on the fast break ... GSU Sports Arena was used as the racquetball venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta ... 10 different Mountaineers played at least 10 minutes in the game.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released the brackets for the high school basketball tournaments. First round games are schedule for Tuesday, second round on Thursday and third round on Saturday. Full brackets for all classifications can be found in the attachments.

Area teams and their first round matchups:

Girls
2A
Bandys hosts Shelby
Bunker Hill travels to Wilkes Central
Draughn is at Surry Central
East Burke is at Parkwood
Maiden goes to North Wilkes
Newton-Conover hosts Polk County

3A
Freedom is at home to Enka
Hickory hosts Kings Mountain

4A
Alexander Central hosts North Meck
South Caldwell is at home against Providence