App State (11-7) dropped its first two Sun Belt games on Saturday, falling to South Alabama (12-8) 1-0 and 7-4, respectively. The Mountaineers and Jaguars will play the final game of the series on Sunday, with the first pitch at 1 p.m. EST.
South Alabama scored one run in the first inning and never looked back as freshman pitcher Oliva Lackie threw a one-hit shutout, striking out 15 en route to her eighth win of the season.
A single to left field opened the game for the Jaguar bats, followed by a stolen base. Mackenzie Brasher singled up the middle to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the first inning.
Gabby Buruato broke up Lackie’s no-hitter in the third, hitting a single to the pitcher to reach safely. Buruato was moved to second on a ground out from Caylie Kifer, but that’s as far as she got as a strikeout and a fly out ended the threat. Buruato would be the only Mountaineer base runner.
Kenzie Longanecker received her first loss in the circle, giving up eight hits and one earned run. She struck out six in her six innings of work.
The Mountaineer bats were able to push four runs across late in the second game but it wasn’t enough as South Alabama scored three in the first inning and four in the second to take the series win.
The Jaguars used three hits to score three runs in the first, including a three-run home run by Abby Krzywiecki and a double from Victoria Ortiz. An error by Mountaineer pitcher Sydney Holland caused trouble for the Mountaineer defense in the second, as the Jaguars scored three on a base clearing double to right center.
Freshman Delani Buckner came on in relief for starter Holland and gave up one more run on a single to right field. All four runs scored that inning were unearned.
Buckner kept the Jaguars scoreless for the remainder of the game and the App State offense cut into the South Alabama lead in the top of the fifth. Kifer started the inning with a walk and was moved to second on a single from Emily Parrott. Emma Jones singled to center field to score Kifer and Parrott was scored on a ground out from Keri White.
The Mountaineers capitalized again in the top of the sixth as Kayt Houston singled up the middle and was moved to second on a ground out by Mary Pierce Barnes. A throwing error by the third baseman put runners on first and third for Buruato, who singled to third base to load the bases. Kifer tallied an RBI on a single to the shortstop and Parrott plated the Mountaineers’ fourth run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Holland (3-3) ended her day giving up seven runs, three of which were earned, on five hits. She walked two and struck out one in her 1.2 innings of work. Buckner threw the final 4.1 innings, also giving up five hits but keeping the Jaguars scoreless, striking out three.
Allie Hughen (3-3) earned the win for the Jaguars, throwing 4.1 innings and giving up five hits and two runs. Kaitlyn Hughes closed out the final 2.2 innings, giving up four hits and two runs, striking out one.
Kryzywiecki ended game two with four RBIs and two hits. Caroline Nichols also added three hits and scored two runs. Buruato and Jones each had two hits to lead the Mountaineers offensively.