|App State Drops Two at FGCU Invitational|
|Written by Megan Samassa|
|Sunday, 17 February 2013 10:17|
Appalachian State University softball fell to Florida Gulf Coast, 6-3, in its morning game before dropping a 4-3 decision to Wichita State in the nightcap on day two of the FGCU/LaQuinta Inn & Suites Invitational on Saturday.
Game 1: FGCU 6, App State 3
The Mountaineers threatened to score in the bottom of the second as Caroline Rogers had a leadoff double down the left field line and would advance to third on an Alex Sohl groundout, but would be left stranded as the game headed into the third inning.
Florida Gulf Coast scored the first run of the contest when they led off the inning with a double to left center. A sacrifice bunt advanced Mariah Fernandez to third base and she would come around to score on a wild pitch, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The Apps were able to get out the inning without allowing any more runs as senior Allie Cashion caught a deep fly ball in left center for the third out.
The Black and Gold offense responded to the FGCU run in the bottom of the third inning as freshman Kristen Terry had a lead off bunt and stole second. Terry advanced to third on a groundout from Dani Heichen and came around to score when Sarah Warnock reached first on an error by the Eagle defense.
Both Meghan Smith and Lindsay Loudermilk reached first as they were hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second for Appalachian in the bottom of the fourth. Smith advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Rogers before Sohl reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with two outs. The Apps were unable to push a run across the plate, leaving the score tied at 1-1.
Florida Gulf Coast took the 2-1 lead over the Apps in the top of the fifth inning when Fernandez hit a leadoff home run over the right field fence. The Eagles tacked on three more runs in the top of the fifth as Chelsea Zgrabik hit a three run homerun over the left field fence, giving FGCU the 5-1 lead over App State.
Appalachian loaded the bases for the second time in the bottom of the sixth inning as Rogers walked, Sohl singled through the right side and Cynthia Gomez reached first on an error. Heichen drove in the Apps first run when she singled through the right side of the infield scoring Rogers.
Sohl crossed home when Warnock would find the right side gap for the third time in the inning, bringing the Black and Gold within two of FGCU. Eagles' pitcher Jaclyn Owen earned a strikeout to close out the inning and head into the seventh with a 5-3 lead over the Mountaineers.
Florida Gulf Coast tacked on one run in the top of the seventh on a single up the middle to give them the 6-3 lead.
Smith led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a walk as she looked to get a rally going for App State. Rogers advanced Smith to second with a hard hit single to right field and Sohl would load the bases for Appalachian with a shallow fly ball to right center field.
The Apps would come up empty, however, and Florida Gulf Coast escaped with a victory despite a myriad of scoring opportunities for the Mountaineers.
App State had nine hits compared to FGCU's eight, but left 12 runners on-base compared to the Eagles' eight. With the loss Appalachian falls to 1-2 overall on the season, while Florida Gulf Coast improves to 3-2 overall.
Warnock led the Mountaineers with three hits and one run batted in, while Heichen had one hit and one run batted in. Starting pitcher Alissa Schoelkopf suffered the loss in the circle (0-1), pitching 4.2 innings with five strikeouts, while Shivaun Landeros pitched 2.1 innings in relief with two strikeouts and allowing no earned runs.
Game 2: Wichita State 4, App State 3
Appalachian got the offense going early in the first inning as the first two batters drew walks and Heichen scored off single up the middle from Rogers. The Mountaineers put their second run on the board when Loudermilk knocked a single to left field that would score Warnock from third.
Wichita State came within one of the Apps in the bottom of the third on three-straight singles with only one out but the App State defense was able to get the last two outs before the Shockers could push another run across the plate.
The Black and Gold looked to start another offensive strike in the top of the fifth when Heichen drew a walk and stole second. A Cashion single through the left side of the infield would advance Heichen to third and she would come around to score on a wild pitch from Katie Armagost, giving App the 3-1 lead over the Shockers.
In the top of the sixth inning, Wichita State strung together three hits that would score two runs and knot the score at 3-3 with no outs and a runner on second. The Apps were able to get out of the inning without allowing any more runs to score as Landeros struck out two and Gomez caught a pop up at short stop.
Two walks and an error by the Black and Gold in the bottom of the seventh inning would allow Wichita State to take the 4-3 victory.
The Mountaineers had four hits from four different players on the roster, while Smith and Loudermilk would each add an RBI and Heichen scored twice. Landeros pitched 6.2 innings, taking the loss (1-2) with four strikeouts and allowing three earned runs.
With the loss Appalachian falls to 1-3 overall on the season, while Wichita State improves to 2-6 overall on the season.
Warnock led the Mountaineers on day two as she recorded four hits and one run batted in, while Heichen had one hit, one run batted in and scored twice.
App State will be back in action on Sunday, Feb. 17 when they play a rematch against the Shockers in its final game of the FGCU/LaQuinta Inn & Suites Invitational. First pitch is scheduled for 11:15 a.m.
Photo Courtesy: Allie Cashion, ASU Athletics
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