Appalachian State University softball's late rally falls short to South Carolina, 7-4, on Saturday afternoon at Beckham Field. The Mountaineers (4-5) were led by freshmen Caroline Rogers and Dani Heichen as well as senior Michelle Lighton who all recorded a pair of hits. Lighton and Rogers each tallied
two RBIs and registered a nine and three putouts respectively. Michelle Gorzelle's seven-game hit streak ended, 0-for-2, as well as Appalachian's two-game winning streak.
The Gamecocks (8-3) got the scoring started in the second when Dana Hathorn led off with a double into the left-center gap. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Hathorn came home on an error by Rogers on a ball hit by Molly Brossart. With two outs, Milks drew a walk to put runners on the corners for Samie Garcia, and launched one over the right field wall to give USC a 4-0 lead.
The Apps finally broke through with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth inning, as a leadoff walk from Allie Cashion was followed by a home run by the third baseman Rogers to cut ASU's deficit to 4-2.
South Carolina answered back in the bottom half, as Brossart led off with a walk and freshman Olivia Lawrence followed with a single through the right side. Seniors Jackie Slawson and Sam Arbaugh came in to run for Hawkins and Lawrence, respectively. After a wild pitch advanced both runners, Milks laid down a squeeze bunt to score Slawson, and in trying to take second on the play, drew a throw to score Arbaugh. Garcia kept the inning going with a single and was driven in two batters later by Evan Childs to give the Gamecocks a 7-2 lead.
In the seventh, the Mountaineers tried to rally back with four-straight singles on two outs by Meghan Smith, Cashion, Rogers and Lighton. Lighton's single to right center scored Smith and Cashion to cut the USC's lead to 7-4. Gamecocks' Kierstyn White forced Lindsay Whitlock to foul out to the first baseman to end the game.
White allowed four earned runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out three in the win. Caitlin Wainright (2-3) took the loss, giving up four earned runs on four hits and two walks in 1.2 innings. Caroline Wainright followed her older sister, tossing 4.1 innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and two walks.
The Mountaineers will wrap up their trip to South Carolina with contests versus George Washington at 12:30 p.m. and against Presbyterian at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Lighton, ASU Athletics