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Kayt Houston
Kayt Houston earned first team all-conference honors for the Mountaineers this season as well.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Softball Drops Both Games of a Doubleheader

Kayt Houston became App State Softball’s career leader for hits and total bases Saturday as the Mountaineers wrapped up a Sun Belt Conference home series against James Madison, which won 5-4 and 8-2 in a doubleheader at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.

Needing one hit to break Lindsay Glover’s program-record of 229 career hits, set from 2004-07, Houston set the record with a first-inning single to left in the doubleheader opener and added three more hits in the second game to increase her career total to 233 with approximately a month left in her fourth season with the Mountaineers (17-24, 4-14 Sun Belt).

Houston also broke the previous record of 370 total bases, set from 2010-13 by Allie Cashion.

Facing a program that reached the Women’s College World Series in 2021, App State led 2-1 entering the fifth inning of the doubleheader opener and trailed 5-2 before scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh inning on Peyton Darnell’s two-run single to center with one away. She advanced to second on the throw home — Olivia Cook scored easily before Grace Barrett slid safely into home, with the call standing after a review — but a groundout to short that advanced pinch-runner Riley Becker to third and a lineout to right ended the game.

The Mountaineers were tied at 2-all in the finale before JMU (29-16, 11-7) broke that tie with a three-run top of the fifth inning.

Houston went 4-for-8 at the plate in the doubleheader, while Barrett, Darnell and Ambry Lucas totaled three hits apiece.

In game one that App lost 5-4, the Mountaineers were trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, App State’s Hailey Webb and Houston scored on wild pitches to produce a 2-1 lead.

The score remained the same until JMU’s Hallie Hall hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth. JMU’s Abbie Campbell added a two-run homer in the sixth.

Delani Buckner (4.1 innings) and reliever Kaylie Northrop combined for four strikeouts.

In game two that the Mountaineers lost 8-2, starting pitcher Sejal Neas shut out JMU for the first three innings, helped by a string of highlight-reel defensive plays, including Macy Hamby reaching up to snag a line drive to second, Neas blindly catching a hard line drive directly at her in the circle and center fielder Addie Wray making her second diving catch of the day.

App State took a 1-0 lead on Darnell’s RBI single in the bottom of the third inning, but JMU moved ahead 2-1 in the fourth on back-to-back solo homers from List and Bella Henzler. The Mountaineers tied the game later in the fourth as Lucas singled, Webb advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and Abby Cunningham drove in Webb after a hard-hit ball to third was misplayed.

JMU scored the tiebreaking run in the fifth when the baserunner on third beat the throw home on a one-out grounder to second. Hallie Hall, the next batter after a pitching change, hit a two-run homer to left.

The Dukes added another homer in the sixth and two runs in the seventh.

App State hosts a Tuesday doubleheader against Western Carolina starting at 4 p.m. That will be Bark at the Park/Greek Night in Boone, and admission to all home softball games is free.

The Mountaineers then travel to Marshall for a Sun Belt weekend series on the road.

{Information provided by Appalachian State Athletics}