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The No. 18 Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (48-13) ended the year with a split on Friday at the 2016 NCAA Division II Southeast Regionals at Armstrong State University. The Bears defeated USC Aiken (29-22), 1-0, before falling to Pfeiffer (39-16) by an 8-3 score.

Lenoir-Rhyne 1, USC Aiken 0
Third-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne remained alive with a shutout victory over the Pacers. Senior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) threw a three-hitter to lead the Bears to the win.

Hoskins also struck out 10 batters for her sixth shutout of the year while sophomore second baseman Madison Poe (Siler City, N.C.) drove in the Bears’ lone run of the contest with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, scoring junior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.).

USC Aiken’s Taylor Morgan (Chapin, S.C.) fell to 17-15 on the year despite allowing just two hits with five strikeouts. The Pacers were the seventh seed in the tournament.

Pfeiffer 8, Lenoir-Rhyne 3
The sixth-seeded Falcons advanced to the regional championship game by defeating the Bears in an elimination game for the second time in as many days.

Trailing by a 1-0 score, Pfeiffer plated four runs in the third inning to take the lead for good. Anna Lauren Brafford (Goldston, N.C.) highlighted the frame with the game-winning, two-run single and finished with three hits and three runs batted in.

Lenoir-Rhyne closed the margin to one run – 4-3 – after five innings of play but Pfeiffer took control for good with two runs in both the sixth and seventh frames. The Falcons’ Vada Blue Sherrill (Hiddenite, N.C.) had a two-run double in the seventh and finished with four hits to lead Pfeiffer’s 13-hit attack.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior outfielder Dakota Keller (Mooresboro, N.C.) had a pair of hits and drove in a run while Hoskins (19-7) suffered the loss. Sam Jarmusch (Colfax, N.C.) improved to 11-2 after earning the win.

Sporting News has begun its annual preseason college football positional rankings, beginning with quarterbacks, and has tabbed Appalachian State junior Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) as its No. 19 signal-caller nationally.

At No. 19, Lamb is the only Sun Belt representative among Sporting News’ top 25 quarterbacks and ranks third among all Group of Five conference signal-callers, behind only Houston’s Greg Ward, Jr. (No. 5) and Southern Miss’ Nick Mullens (No. 17).

Entering his junior campaign, Lamb already has 23 starts under his belt and has led the Mountaineers to a 17-6 record as the starter. As a sophomore last season, he threw for 2,387 yards and a school-record 31 touchdowns. His 31 TDs were tied for ninth nationally while his 160.7 pass-efficiency rating ranked 10th in NCAA Division I FBS.

Appalachian State University volleyball head coach Matt Ginipro announced the hiring of Taylor Sherwin as an assistant coach on Friday.

“I’m very happy to add Taylor to our staff,” said Ginipro. “Her playing and coaching experience will be an excellent addition to our team. She was a setter in the toughest league in the country and led Ohio State to a Sweet 16 appearance her senior year, so she knows what it takes to succeed at a high level as a player. This past year, she was on the bench of a program that made it to the National Semifinals and got to learn from a head coach who has won two Olympic medals.”

Ginipro continued, “I know our players are going to love being coached by someone with Taylor’s background and can’t wait to get her in the gym with the team this August for preseason.”

“I am extremely excited to join the App State volleyball family and I want to thank Matt, Chad and the team for this great opportunity,” said Sherwin. “This group is a hard working program that has a clear vision of where they want to be and I can’t wait to join them in this journey.”

Before coming to the High Country, Sherwin spent the past season as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Minnesota. With Sherwin on staff, the Golden Gophers finished the 2015 campaign with a 30-5 overall record, including a nearly-perfect 18-2 mark in Big Ten Conference play. Minnesota made it all the way to the National Semifinal where they dropped a four-set match to the eventual National Runner-Up Texas Longhorns.

In her time at Minnesota, Sherwin had the ability to learn under the Golden Gophers’ head coach Hugh McCutcheon, a former head coach of the United States men’s national volleyball team and the United States women’s volleyball team. In the 2008 Olympics, McCutcheon led the men’s national team to a gold medal, defeating Brazil. At the 2012 Olympics, McCutcheon led the women’s team to a silver medal, losing in four sets to Brazil.

Prior to her arrival in Minneapolis, Sherwin completed a four-year playing career at Ohio State University. In her final year with the Buckeyes, Sherwin was a 2014 AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) All-America honorable mention after a Sweet 16 NCAA run. As an All-Big Ten honorable mention, Sherwin averaged 10.96 assists per set in conference play, which ranked fourth in the Big Ten.

During her senior campaign, she racked up 1,375 assists (12th-most all-time at OSU). The setter was selected as the Big Ten Setter of the Week twice in 2014 and four times in her career. Her 3,624 career assists rank fifth all-time at Ohio State. During her time in Columbus, Sherwin was a three-time captain and most valuable player.

Sherwin began her coaching career immediately after with Mintonette Sports in 2015. She led and coached the 18-1s club team, where she coordinated the team’s training, team travel and implemented practice plans.

Sherwin graduated from Ohio State in 2015 with a degree in speech and hearing communications.

Northwestern Conference:
Hibriten: 7
Hickory: 6

South Caldwell: 17
Fred T. Foard: 1

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 2
West Lincoln: 1

Maiden: 11
East Lincoln: 1

North Piedmont Conference:
Alexander Central: 11
Mooresville: 0

Northwestern Conference:
South Caldwell: 19
Hibriten: 13

St. Stephens: 11
Fred T. Foard: 6

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 12
Maiden: 2

North Piedmont Conference:
West Iredell: 4
Alexander Central: 1

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 3
West Lincoln: 1

Newton-Conover: 4
Maiden: 2

West Caldwell: 6
Bandys: 0

Appalachian State University’s Jesse Chapman (Cookeville, Tenn./Cookeville) and Malachi Jones (Roswell, Ga./Central Gwinnett) are two of 868 student-athletes from all levels of college football that have been named members of the National Football Foundation’s 2016 Hampshire Society.

To be considered for Hampshire Society membership, a student-athlete must have completed his athletic eligibility, been a starter or a primary contributor as a senior and maintained a 3.2 cumulative grade point average or better over the course of his collegiate career.

Chapman earned first-team all-Sun Belt Conference honors as Appalachian State’s starting center in 2015. A former walk-on, he was the heart and soul of an offensive line that ranked fourth in NCAA Division I FBS for fewest sacks allowed (11 in 13 games) and paved the way for a rushing game that ranked sixth nationally (271.5 ypg) last season. He was responsible for allowing only one sack while recording 39 knockdowns in 12 regular-season games as a senior. In the classroom, he owned a 3.28 cumulative grade point average and graduated last December with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science (pre-professional).

Jones caught 124 passes for 1,711 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons at Appalachian State, including 25 receptions for 463 yards and three touchdowns as a senior in 2015. He appeared in all 49 games during his Mountaineer career and made 35 starts at wide receiver, including 13 starts as a senior. His 18.5 yards-per-catch average last season was the highest of his career and would’ve ranked 28th nationally had he not fallen one catch shy of qualifying for the national statistical rankings. Earlier this week, he signed a contract as an undrafted free agent with the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons. In the classroom, Jones owns a 3.34 grade point average as a graphic arts and imaging technology major.

Chapman and Jones are two of 12 Sun Belt representatives in the 2016 Hampshire Society. Appalachian State’s two honorees matched a conference high.

Patrick Moriarty (Rockville, Md./Rockville) represented Appalachian State University men’s golf in Sun Belt All-Conference selections by being named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team, the league announced Thursday afternoon.

“He is a great example of what can be done if you have a strong work ethic and set high standards,” head coach Bill Dicus said. “I truly believe his best golf is yet to come.”

The junior linksman is the first Appalachian State men’s golfer to be selected to an All-Sun Belt team after posting six top-10 finishes this season and leading the Mountaineers in scoring average with a program-record 72.17. In the Sun Belt player rankings, Moriarty finished ninth overall–a 39-spot jump from his finish last season.

Surf Beach and Golf Club saw Moriarty break a program record at the 2016 Bash at the Beach, where he shot a career-low 65 to lead the field in round one. After shooting a 76 in round two, Moriarty fell to a ninth-place tie and the Mountaineers finished the tournament seventh overall.

The Bash at the Beach finish was part of the Mountaineers’ eight top 10 tournament finishes over the course of the 2015-16 season, where Moriarty shot an average score of exactly 1-over versus par. The team finished ninth overall in the Sun Belt rankings.

Appalachian ended the year finishing 10th at the Sun Belt Conference tournament, where Moriarty led the Mountaineers in all three rounds. In round one, he shot 1-over 72 and tied for 14th place. On day two, he broke the par barrier and shot 1-under 70 in round two. Finishing up on day three, Moriarty brought his total to 216 by shooting a 74, placing tied for 15th overall for the tournament.

Thursday, 05 May 2016 20:58

Hickory Crawdads Split Doubleheader with Rome

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The Hickory Crawdads split their doubleheader against the Rome Braves Thursday afternoon, as the 'Dads dropped the first game 4-3 before bouncing back for a 6-0 shutout victory in game 2 at State Mutual Stadium.

The Crawdads twice rallied behind the bat of LeDarious Clark in the opener, with the 'Dads DH going 2-3 with a home run, a double, and 3 RBI. The Braves jumped out ahead in the 2nd, when Justin Ellison lofted a solo home run off of 'Dads starting pitcher Dillon Tate to make the score 1-0. Clark answered with a homer of his own for Hickory in the 5th when he lined a 2-run shot to right that put the Crawdads ahead 2-1.

Rome came back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame, however, to quickly regain the lead at 3-2. Down to their final out in the 7th, the 'Dads once again got a big hit from Clark when he lined a 2-out, RBI double to left that plated Yeyson Yrizarri and tied the score at 3-3. The Braves once again had an answer through, as Jonathan Morales ended the game with a walk-off, RBI single to center that gave Hickory a 4-3 loss.

Braves reliever Oriel Caicedo (1-0) earned the win with 1 unearned run allowed over 2 innings pitched, while John Werner (0-1) took the loss for the Crawdads after allowing 1 run on 3 hits over 1.2 IP.

The 'Dads responded to their opening loss by jumping on Rome starting pitcher Mike Soroka for 4 runs, 2 earned, in the 1st inning of game 2 for an early 4-0 lead. Andy Ibanez, Dylan Moore, and Yrizarri all reached to load the bases for Chuck Moorman, who delivered a 2-out, 2-RBI single to left. On the same play, Braves catcher Lucas Herbert airmailed a throw to third that sailed into the left field corner allowing two more tallies to score for the 4-run Hickory advantage.

The Crawdads pushed their lead to 5-0 in the 3rd when Yrizarri tripled to right-center and came home on an RBI sacrifice fly by Moorman. The 'Dads plated their final run in the 4th, as Clark walked, stole second base, and scored two batters later on an RBI sacrifice fly from Ibanez for the final 6-0 score.

Hickory starter Jonathan Hernandez (4-1) earned the win with 5 scoreless innings pitched on 2 hits, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Soroka (0-3) was handed the loss for Rome with 6 runs allowed, 4 earned, on 7 hits, 3 BB, and 3 Ks.

Moorman paced the 'Dads bats in the second game, finishing 1-2 with 3 RBI, while Yrizarri went 1-3 with a triple and 2 runs scored.

The Crawdads (18-9) and Braves (10-17) will wrap up their 3-game set Friday night, with the rubber match's first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (47-12), ranked No. 18 in the nation, suffered a 4-1 setback to Pfeiffer (38-15) in the opening round Thursday of the 2016 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament on the campus of Armstrong State University.

Lenoir-Rhyne, the third seed in the regionals, will now face seventh-seeded USC Aiken Friday at 1:30 p.m., in an elimination game while the Falcons face Armstrong State on Friday at 11:00 a.m.

The sixth-seeded Falcons, who picked up their first-ever NCAA Division II Playoff victory, were led by Vada Blue Sherrill (Hiddenite, N.C.) with three runs batted in. Pfeiffer jumped out to a 4-0 lead highlighted by Sherrill’s two-run single in the fourth inning.

Lenoir-Rhyne finally got on the board in bottom of the sixth inning when freshman pinch hitter Emily Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) drove in junior first baseman Sydney Landreth (Disputanta, Va.) for its lone run of the contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne also left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pfeiffer’s Callie Kuykendall (Canton, N.C.) went the distance for the Falcons in the win. Kuykendall improved to 10-1 on the season after limiting the Bears to just one run with five strikeouts.

For Lenoir-Rhyne, sophomore outfielder Christina Walker (Roxboro, N.C.) and senior third baseman Jordin Phillips (Hampstead, N.C.) both tallied two hits but senior Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) (3-3) suffered the loss. In addition, the Falcons avenged a doubleheader setback to the Bears in the regular season on Tuesday, March 8.