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Saturday, 14 March 2015 23:10

App State Softball Swept in Doubleheader to Troy

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Appalachian State University softball struggles in two losses to Troy on Saturday. Appalachian fell 9-3 in Game One, while falling in Game Two 9-1 in five innings.

Game One: Troy 9, App State 3

The Mountaineers (8-12, 0-5 Sun Belt) went ahead in the top of the first when Tiffany Taynor (Edgewater, Fla./New Smyrna Beach) singled through the left side to plate Cynthia Gomez (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica) for the 1-0 lead. In the bottom half, the Trojans (15-12, 2-3 Sun Belt) tied the game on an RBI single.

Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) gave the Apps a 2-1 lead when she crushed her second home run of the season to left field. The home run for Parker was the 12th of her career, which is good for seventh all-time in program history.

Troy came back with two runs in the bottom half on a two-run RBI single to take a 3-2 lead.

Both teams wouldn’t score until the sixth inning when Gomez singled in Pepper Butler (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community) from second base to tie the game at 3-3.

The wheels fell off in the bottom half when the Trojans plated six runs to take an insurmountable 9-3 lead, leaving the Mountaineers just three outs to generate at least six runs.

The top two hitters for Troy – Kate Benton and Hannah Day – combined to finish 5-for-7 with five RBI and three runs scored.

Vanessa Cicoatto (La Habra, Calif./La Habra/Delaware State) started for the Apps and pitched 1.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits before being relieved by Alissa Schoelkopf (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township/Monmouth). In 4.1 innings, Schoelkopf surrendered six runs on four hits and four strikeouts.

Gomez led the Black and Gold at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance, including an RBI and a run scored. The three hits for Gomez tied a career-high and was the third time the senior has done that in her career. Parker went 1-for-3 with a home run, while Heather Josey (Statesville, N.C./North Iredell) and Butler finished with two hits each.

Game Two: Troy 9, App State 1 F/5

The Mountaineers once again took a lead early in the top of the first against Troy. Josey grounded into a fielder’s choice with Gomez scoring to put App State in front 1-0.

Unfortunately that would be the only run the Apps would score in the game. Following a scoreless first, the Trojans would score runs in four consecutive innings to end the game in the fifth.

In the second inning, Troy took a lead after a run scoring off of an error and then a two-run triple to lead 3-1. The Trojans would go on to score two in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to win 9-3.

Ciocatto started and pitched two innings and allowed three runs (none earned) off three hits. Katherine Johnson (Alameda, Calif./Alameda/Wichita State) pitched 2.2 innings and surrendered six runs (five earned ) off of four hits.

Appalachian returns to action tomorrow for the series finale at 1 p.m. ET.

Appalachian State University baseball’s season-long string of unfortunate luck in close ballgames continued on Saturday afternoon with a 6-4 loss to Texas State at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

After failing in two attempts to get a sacrifice bunt down, Texas State’s Cedric Vallieres belted what proved to be the game-winning two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning. The defeat dropped Appalachian State (5-13, 0-5 Sun Belt) to 1-8 in games decided by two runs or less this season. Four of the Mountaineers’ five Sun Belt losses have been by two runs or fewer.

Appalachian State fell into a 4-0 hole on Saturday but erased the deficit with one swing when Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) hit the Mountaineers’ first grand slam of the season to knot the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Pierson’s blast into Texas State’s bullpen beyond the right-field wall was Appalachian’s only hit of the inning, as Bobcat starting pitcher Scott Crist loaded the bases by hitting two batters and walking another.

The score remained 4-4 until the ninth when Texas State’s Cory Geisler led off with a single off Appalachian State reliever Taylor Thurber (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman). Vallieres followed and showed bunt on four-straight pitches, taking one strike and fouling off another.

With the count at 2-2, Texas State’s coaches called off the sacrifice and Vallieres was rewarded for the failed bunt attempts by hammering the next pitch over the left-field wall for the go-ahead two-run homer.

In the bottom of the ninth, Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) singled with one out to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Texas State’s Blake Whitter induced two-straight groundouts end the ballgame.

Dobson and Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) led the Mountaineers with two hits apiece. Thurber (2-4) suffered another tough-luck loss despite allowing only four hits over five innings out of the bullpen.

The first four batters in Texas State’s order — Geisler, Vallieres, David Paiz and Granger Studdard — combined for eight of the Bobcats’ 11 hits and four RBI. Whitter (2-0) worked 2.1 innings of one-hit relief to pick up the win.

Appalachian State looks to snap an eight-game losing streak on Sunday when it closes the three-game Sun Belt Conference series versus Texas State. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Smith Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kevin Baxter earned All-American honors for the second time in three years after finishing eighth in the finals of the men’s 60-meter hurdles Saturday afternoon at the 2015 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships at the CrossPlex.

Baxter, a junior from Columbia, S.C., finished in 8.28 seconds while Grand Valley State’s Sean Wells took home the individual title after clocking a 7.78.

Baxter finished sixth in the same event at the same facility at the Division II indoor track and finals in 2013 on his way to All-American honors as well.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams open the outdoor season next Saturday, March 21, when the Bears host the PowerSox Invitational at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex.

2015 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships
March 13-14 - Birmingham, Ala. - CrossPlex
Men's 60-meter hurdles (finals)

1. Sean Wells, Jr. - Grand Valley State 7.78
2. Elijha Owens, Sr. - Ashland 7.84
3. Lorenzo Johnson, So. - West Texas A&M 7.86
4. Yakabu Ibrahim, So. - Southern Connecticut State 8.02
5. Javier Lopez, So. - Texas A&M-Kingsville 8.05
6. Andre Sanders, Jr. - Pittsburg State 8.06
7. Andrew Etheridge, Sr. - Emporia State 8.16
8. Kevin Baxter, Jr. - Lenoir-Rhyne 8.28

Texas State’s Lucas Humpal threw a complete-game eight-hitter and Appalachian State University baseball dropped its 2015 home opener to the Bobcats, 8-3, on Friday evening at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

With temperatures in the low 40s and rain falling throughout the ballgame, Appalachian State (5-12, 0-4 Sun Belt) fell behind 5-0 after just two-and-a-half innings and couldn’t string enough hits together against Humpal to stage a rally.

Trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Appalachian State cut the deficit in half, thanks mostly to junior designated hitter Grayson Atwood (Mount Pleasant, N.C./Mount Pleasant). Atwood put the Mountaineers on the board with a two-run triple into the right-field corner and scored one batter later on a sacrifice fly by Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) to make it 6-3.

However, despite putting runners on base in each of the last three innings, App State didn’t pull any closer and Texas State added two runs in the top of the ninth to account for the final margin.

The Mountaineers banged out eight hits against Humpal (3-1) but Texas State’s right-handed junior benefited from three double plays en route to the 106-pitch complete game.

Atwood and Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) paced the Mountaineers’ eight-hit attack with two apiece.

After Appalachian fell into the 5-0 hole, southpaw Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, N.C./Moline) kept the club in the ballgame with 6.1 innings of two-hit relief. Texas native Sean Mason (Austin, Texas/McNeil) made his first start of the season against his home-state opponent but surrendered five hits and issued two walks in 2.1 innings to suffer the loss.

Cedric Vallieres (2-for-4, two RBI, two runs) and Tanner Hill (1-for-3, three RBI, one run) led Texas State (6-10-1, 3-1 Sun Belt) offensively.

Appalachian State looks to snap a seven-game losing streak on Saturday when hosts Texas State for the second game of their three-game Sun Belt Conference series. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Smith Stadium.

Saturday, 14 March 2015 23:05

Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Lacrosse Upended By Coker

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The Coker Men’s Lacrosse Team (4-3, 3-1) rallied from a five-goal deficit to take a 12-11 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (4-3, 3-1) Friday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference match at Byerly Park.

The Cobras scored two goals in the final two minutes of action including the game-winner from Shane Wilson (Westbury, N.Y.) with 1:17 remaining in the contest. Wilson finished with two goals and two assists in the victory.

John Bretton (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) scored three of his team-leading four goals after halftime as Coker rallied from a 10-5 deficit early in the second half to win its third straight contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore attacker Mike Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.) finished with a team-leading four goals as well but the Bears saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.

Three other players scored twice for the Bears – senior attacker Jay Goldsmith (Jamestown, N.C.), senior midfielder Jon Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.) and junior midfielder Carson Sterling (Durham, N.C.) – despite the loss.

Coker held the advantage in both shots taken (36-34) and ground balls (36-28) while Tim Ryan (Glocester, R.I.) earned the win in goal after stopping 12 shots. Lenoir-Rhyne senior goalkeeper Alex Squires (Lawrenceville, Ga.) made six saves in the losing effort.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to host Queens in a South Atlantic Conference match on Wednesday at Moretz Stadium at 5:00 p.m. Coker faces North Greenville on the road next Saturday, March 21, at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, 14 March 2015 23:04

App State's Jim Fox Up For Hall Award

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Appalachian State University men’s basketball head coach Jim Fox has been named as one of 10 finalists for the Joe B. Hall Award, given annually to the top first-year coach in college basketball. The announcement was made on Friday by CollegeInsider.com.

In his first season at the helm of the Mountaineers, Fox led his squad to an overall record 12-17 and a 9-11 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. Appalachian finished sixth in the Sun Belt after being selected to finish last in the 11-team league in the preseason coaches poll.

In addition, Appalachian State’s win total easily surpassed that from a year ago (9) and all of the Mountaineers’ wins in 2014-15 came against NCAA Division I competition, compared to just five from the previous season.

Fox led his squad to upsets over Sun Belt frontrunners Georgia State and UL Monroe during conference play. He also led the Mountaineers to a 65-63 win at Virginia Tech on Nov. 22, the team’s first win over a high-major squad since 2007.

The 2014-15 finalists for the Joe B. Hall Award also include Jon Coffman (IPFW), Dennis Cutts (UC Riverside), Travis DeCuire (Montana), Chris Jans (Bowling Green), Kevin Keatts (UNC Wilmington), Scott Padgett (Samford), David Richman (North Dakota State), Craig Smith (South Dakota), Keith Walker (Delaware State)

The award is named in the honor of Joe B. Hall who was given the task of following the legendary Adolph Rupp. In his first season at the University of Kentucky, Hall finished 20-8, won the SEC and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals.

The recipient of the 2015 award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 3 in Indianapolis, site of the 2015 men’s division I basketball championship.

Saturday, 14 March 2015 23:03

Jazmine Charles Named to All-Region Team

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Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Jazmine Charles has been named to the 2014-15 Daktronics/Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Southeast Region Second Team for women’s basketball.

Charles, a senior forward from Lexington, N.C., earned all-region accolades for the second straight year after leading the team in scoring (17.5 ppg), three-pointers made (54) and steals (37) this year.

Charles helped the Bears (12-16, 10-12) advance to the semifinals of the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship after starting the tournament as the seventh seed.

In 2013-14, Charles was named a third-team NCAA Division II All-American by Daktronics in addition to being selected the Southeast Region and South Atlantic Conference Player Of The Year and leading the Bears to the league regular season championship. Lenoir-Rhyne also hosted the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament in 2014.

Charles, a three-time First-Team All-SAC selection (2013-15) and an academic all-district honoree, leaves Lenoir-Rhyne ranked first in three-pointers made (183) and fifth in total points (1,605).

Sports information directors from NCAA Division II Southeast Region schools and conferences selected the two Daktronics All-Region teams. The process concludes with All-American selections announced later in the month.

The team is sponsored by Daktronics, Inc., an acknowledged world leader in scoring, timing and programmable display systems for virtually every sport at every level of competition. The team is voted on by the NCAA Division II members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (D2SIDA).

2014-15 Daktronics/Division II Conference Commissioners Association
Women’s Basketball All-Southeast Region Team

FIRST TEAM
Michelle Mitchell, Columbus State University (G, Jr., Eastman, Ga.)
Stephanie Huffman, University of North Georgia (G, Sr., Woodstock, Ga.)
Camille Glymph, Mars Hill University (G, Sr., Greenville, S.C.)
Chantal Dunbar, Wingate University (F, Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.)
Alicia Brookins, Limestone College (F, Sr., Auburn, Ga.)

SECOND TEAM
Sierra Simpson, Anderson (S.C.) University (G, Sr., Simpsonville, S.C.)
Jazmine Charles, Lenoir-Rhyne University (G, Sr., Lexington, N.C.)
Haylee Lepaio, Newberry College (F, Sr., Bathurst, NSW, Australia)
Yishica Sims, Clayton State University (F, Sr., Jackson, Ga.)
Carrie Washington, Columbus State University (C, Sr., Donalsonville, Ga.)

SOUTHEAST REGION PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Michelle Mitchell, Columbus State University (F, Jr., Eastman, Ga.)

North Piedmont:
Mooresville: 10
Alexander Central: 1

Northwestern:
Hibriten: 5
St. Stephens: 1

Hickory: 4
Freedom: 1

South Caldwell: 12
Patton: 7

South Mountain Athletic:
East Burke: 5
Shelby: 3

Kings Mountain: 8
Draughn: 5

Southern District 7:
Maiden: 7
Newton-Conover: 2

Non-conference:
Bunker Hill: 7
West Iredell: 3

North Piedmont:
Alexander Central: 12
Mooresville: 0

Northwestern:
St. Stephens: 11
Hibriten: 10

South Caldwell: 4
Patton: 1

South Mountain Athletic:
Kings Mountain: 7
Draughn: 4

Shelby: 2
East Burke: 1

Southern District 7:
Bandys: 5
West Caldwell: 0

Maiden: 20
Newton-Conover: 6

Non-conference:
West Wilkes: 1
Bunker Hill: 0

South Mountain Athletic:
Kings Mountain: 8
Draughn: 0

Non-conference:
Alexander Central: 6
McDowell: 0

Freedom: 0
West Caldwell: 0

Hibriten: 4
Bandys: 1

Lincoln Charter: 2
Newton-Conover: 1

west Iredell: 9
Maiden: 0