Longanecker leads App State into postseason

Appalachian State softball pitcher Kenzie Longanecker and the rest of the Mountaineers will play in the National Invitational Softball Championship starting May 16.

BOONE — The Appalachian State softball team has accepted an invitation to compete in the National Invitational Softball Championship. The tournament is the first postseason appearance for the Mountaineers in program history.

First-round regional action for the Mountaineers is from May 16-18. App State has been placed into the Liberty, Va., regional alongside five other teams, Kent State, Marshall, George-Washington, Liberty and Rutgers.

The announcement follows a solid season for Appalachian. The Mountaineers put together their second 30-win season in program history while ending the regular season 31-22 and 13-13 in the Sun Belt Conference.

They also managed their first appearance in the Sun Belt Softball Championship in App State history securing the number five seed in the tournament.

The Mountaineers started the season 1-0 for the first time since 2013, the year they won the Southern Conference regular season. Along the way, the Mountaineers set a record for the longest winning streak in program history with eight straight wins from Feb. 15-March 1.

App State went undefeated in the Holy City Showdown in Charleston, S.C., the first time since 2011 the Mountaineers went unbeaten in a tournament. The Mountaineers earned their first and second ever Sun Belt sweeps over Georgia Southern and ULM in back-to-back weekends.

The team won four conference series this season marking the first time in program history App State has done so.

The 2019 NISC Tournament has four regionals with each regional being double-elimination. The four regional winners will advance to the NISC Championship round in Fort Collins, Colo. on May 24-26 and will also be a double-elimination format.

“This is an awesome opportunity for our program to be selected to the NISC tournament,” App State head coach Shelly Hoerner said in a statement. “The goal from the beginning of the year was postseason. We will continue to grind it out and enjoy the moment. I am so proud of how hard this team has worked to turn our program around. Now it’s time to go to work.”

Here’s a look at which teams are playing in each regional:

At Liberty (Lynchburg, VA) Appalachian State, George Washington, Kent State, Liberty, Marshall, Rutgers

At Nevada (Reno, NV) Fresno State, Loyola Marymount, Nevada, UC Riverside

At Stephen F. Austin (Nacogdoches, TX) McNeese State, Middle Tennessee, Stephen F. Austin, UT Arlington

At Iowa State (Ames, IA) Eastern Kentucky, Iowa State, Purdue, South Dakota, South Dakota State

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