Appalachian State softball is off to its best start in program history in the friendly confines of Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium as it picked up its 10th and
11th home wins on Tuesday evening, sweeping Winthrop in a doubleheader.
With the win the Mountaineers improve to 20-13 overall on the season and 11-0 at home, while Winthrop falls to 20-19 overall.
Game One: App State 11, Winthrop 8
Winthrop took an early 1-0 lead over the Mountaineers when Zharne Glover led of the game with a slap single to the left side of the field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Glover advanced to third when McKenzi Corn grounded out and came home on a Chelsey Schoenfeldt singled up the middle, allowing the Eagles to take the lead in the top of the first.
The Apps responded in the bottom half of the inning when they drew two walks to start the inning. Junior Lindsay Loudermilk moved Sarah Warnock and Dani Heichen in to scoring position on a slow hit grounder to third base.
Senior Allie Cashion plated both Warnock and Heichen when she drove a single through the right side of the infield to give the Mountaineers a 2-1 lead with only one out.
App State chased Schoenfeldt from the circle after Meghan Smith found the same gap as Cashion on the right side of the infield.
The Apps took a 3-1 lead when Ashley Seering reached first on an Eagle throwing error, bringing in Cashion.
Sophomore Caroline Rogers knocked in her fifth RBI of the season when she singled through the right side, scoring Smith who singled earlier in the inning.
App State tacked on its final run of the first inning when catcher Alex Sohl reached on a throwing error, scoring Seering and allowing the Black and Gold to take the 5-1 lead heading into the second inning.
Rogers reached first for the second time of the day when runner interference would cause Seering to make the first out of the inning before Sohl lined her first career home run over the left field fence to score two and take the 7-1 advantage over the Eagles.
Relief pitcher Sara Allen tallied her first hit of the 2013 season when she hit a solo home run over the left field fence in the top of the fourth inning to bring Winthrop within five of the Mountaineers.
Kim Ryder reached base on a fielder’s choice before stealing second and advancing to third on a groundout. Ryder crossed the plate to score the Eagles second run of the inning on a wild pitch issued by Shivaun Landeros.
The Apps retired the final out of the inning on a hard hit ball back to Landeros as they led 7-3 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
Two walks to lead off the inning and a groundout to short stop would put runners on second and third for Seering, who laced a double down the right line to score both Heichen and Loudermilk, extending the App lead to 9-3.
Back-to-back singles in the top of the fifth inning and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases for Winthrop before Melanie Andrea singled the right field to score one. A throwing error by the right fielder caused two unearned runs to score.
The Eagles came within two of the Apps when pinch hitter Jenna Harbin reached first on a fielder’s choice and a dropped ball at the plate allowed the fourth run of the inning to score.
The Black and Gold retired the final out of the inning on a pop up foul ball to the catcher, but not before Winthrop scored four runs on three hits and three errors to bring the score to 9-7.
App State responded to the four-run inning in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases with two outs when Sarah Warnock singled through the left side and Heichen drew her third walk of the contest.
Loudermilk had a hard hit ball back to the pitcher to put runners on all the bases for Cashion. The Waxhaw, N.C. native drew a walk on four straight pitches to score the Apps tenth run of the contest.
Corn led off the top of the sixth inning with a single up the middle before advancing to second on a walk and to third on a wild pitch.
Christine DeWitt hit a pinch hit sacrifice fly to deep right field, scoring Corn and bringing the eighth run across the plate for the Eagles. The lone run in the sixth inning would not be enough as App State defeated the Eagles 11-8.
Warnock and Seering led the Black and Gold offense as they both tallied two hits on the game, while Cashion drove in three runs and Sohl had two.
Landeros (7-5) earned the win in the circle as she went all seven innings with five strikeouts.
Game Two: App State 9, Winthrop 7
Winthrop scored one run in both the first and second inning and tacked on two in the top of the third before the Apps were able to break open the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning.
Cynthia Gomez led off the inning with a bunt single before Warnock singled to center field to put runners on first and second. Heichen laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved the runners into scoring position for Cashion, who knocked a two out single up the middle to plate both Gomez and Warnock.
The Eagles continued to build on their lead in the top of the fourth inning when they added three runs on one hit, taking the 7-2 lead over the Mountaineers.
App State exploded offensively in the bottom of the fourth inning to score seven runs on six hits and three Winthrop errors.
A leadoff double from Rogers and an error by the first baseman put runners on first and third for Gomez who notched her second hit of the afternoon with a hard hit single through the left side, scoring Rogers.
The Apps tacked on a second run when Sohl scored an unearned run on a Warnock single to right center field. The unearned would chase Schoenfeldt out of the game for the second time on the day and bring in Sara Allen with no outs.
With runners on first and third, Heichen would hit a slap single to the pitcher that scored Gomez and brought the Apps within two of the Eagles.
With runners on second and third, Cashion drove a hard hit ball to the shortstop and would reach on a fielder’s choice as the Eagle tried to get a sliding Warnock out at the plate but would be unable to lay a tag on her as the Apps trailed 7-6 with one out.
Two straight errors from the Winthrop short stop allowed App State to tie the game at 7-7 with only one out in the inning.
The go-ahead run crossed the plate Rogers tallied her second hit of the inning with a single through the left side, scoring Cashion. The Mountaineers added one more safety run to take the 9-7 lead on Gomez’s third hit of the day.
Appalachian shut down the Winthrop offense for the remaining three innings as they were only able to get three hits in the final nine outs of the game.
Gomez led the Apps offense as she went 4-for-4 with two RBI and scored twice, while four other Mountaineers tallied a multi-hit game.
Starting pitcher Katherine Johnson threw two innings, while Alissa Schoelkopf (13-7) came on in relief to pitch five innings with six strikeouts and earned her fourth straight victory.
App State will be back in action on Saturday, April 13 when it travels to Greensboro, N.C. to take on SoCon foe, UNCG. Game one of the three-game series is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The Black and Gold conclude the series on Sunday, April 14 with a single game, starting at 1 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Caroline Rogers, ASU Athletics