Southern Conference Player of the Year Allie Cashion sent a bloop single over the shortstop’s head in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Sarah Warnock from second as Appalachian State walked off
against Samford, 3-2. Alissa Schoeklopf went the distance for the Mountaineers, giving up eight hits, two runs, one walk and seven strikeouts.
Warnock and Dani Heichen each went 2-for-4 with a walk for the Mountaineers, while Megan Dowdy and Kayla Shaffer went 2-for-5 for Samford.
Samford starter Shelby Scott went 7.0 innings, giving up five hits, two runs, two walks and one strikeout. Misha Aldridge suffered the loss for the Bulldogs, throwing 2.2 innings and allowing three hits, one run and two strikeouts.
The game started as a pitcher’s duel early as both teams stranded runners in the first three innings. Each pitcher had a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth and fifth. In the top of the sixth, Samford’s Callie Brister sent a two-out single up the middle, followed by a single by Alex Adams. However, Appalachian State’s Schoelkopf was able to get a pop up to end the threat.
After a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth, Appalachian State pinch-runner Racquel Cooke was thrown out trying to advance to third and ended Appalachian State’s rally attempt. In the top of the seventh, Samford’s Aldridge singled to second base to start the inning then two batters later, Caroline Seay singled to left field to put a runner in scoring position with two outs. Dowdy then singled off the second baseman’s glove to bring home the first run of the game. Shaffer then singled through the right side to score Seay for a 2-0 Samford lead, but Dowdy was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Lindsay Loudermilk led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, followed by an infield single by Meghan Smith. Ashley Seering laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position and Ellie Manriquez followed with an RBI single to right field to cut the Samford lead to 2-1. Alex Sohl then scored Smith on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at two and send the game to extras.
With one out in the top of the eighth, the teams were sent into a weather delay. After a 1:15 delay, play was resumed with a runner on first. After a force out at second, Schoelkopf got a strikeout to end the Samford threat and keep the game tied at two.
Warnock and Heichen drew walks to start the bottom of the eighth for Appalachian State. Cashion reached on a fielder’s choice to move the winning run to third, but Aldridge, who came on in relief of Scott, got a strikeout and groundout to end the eighth tied at two.
After a quick ninth inning, the teams moved to international tiebreaker rules and Samford put runners on the corners with no outs after a perfect bunt by Dowdy to start the tenth. However, Dowdy was thrown out at the plate by Allie Cashion trying to score on a caught fly ball. Schoelkopf then got a ground out to keep the game tied at two.
Cynthia Gomez laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Caroline Rogers to third, but Rogers is tagged out caught stealing during the next at bat. Warnock then sent a two-out single through the right side, followed by an infield single by Heichen. Allie Cashion placed a bloop single over the shortstop’s head in left to score Warnock from second and give the Mountaineers the 3-2 victory.
Appalachian State improves to 31-20 (17-7 SoCon), while Samford falls to 15-34 overall. The Mountaineers will face the winner of the Furman/UNCG game at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, while Samford will face the loser of that contest at 11:30 a.m. in an elimination game.
Photo Courtesy: Sarah Warnock Mobbed By Teammates, ASU Athletics