BOONE — Appalachian State’s softball team settled for a split in its doubleheader against visiting Gardner-Webb at Sywassink/Lloyd Field.
Appalachian State won the first game 4-2 after taking an early lead. The Mountaineers lost 9-6 after falling behind 9-2 by the top of the sixth inning. The loss ended a five-game App State winning streak.
App State coach Shelly Hoerner was not necessarily satisfied with a split, but like how her team fought back in the second game after falling. App State (14-7) rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh inning before the Bulldogs were able to escape without giving up any runs.
“I love the fight in our team,” Hoerner said. “Obviously we were down by seven runs and we come back and end the game with the bases loaded. We don’t ever want to end the game with the bases loaded with runners in scoring position, but the fight that we had after being down by so many, that says a lot.”
Haley Stewart finished with three hits and both Sydney Russell and Megan Walker each had two hits. Russell and Walker each drove in two runs and both had doubles. Jenny Dodd also hit a home run for the Mountaineers, her third of the season.
Gardner-Webb got three hits from Autumn Owen, including a home run. The Bulldogs finished with 11 hits against three App State pitchers.
App State ace Kenzie Longanecker pitched the Mountaineers to a win in the first game. She scattered six hits and struck out six batters.
Offensively, App State settled for just four hits, one each from Keri White, Caylie Kifer, Steward and Russell, who hit a two-run double in the Mountaineers’ three-run first inning.
“We never go in for a split, but Gardner-Webb is a really good team,” Hoerner said. “They have very good pitching. They did a great job outhitting us, so they’ve got a great team all-around. During our first game, Kenzie pitched a great game. We had timely hitting and we were aggressive on the bases.”