App State (11-5) split a doubleheader against East Tennessee State (5-3) Tuesday afternoon, falling in the first game 2-0 and taking the second game 7-1. 5th year senior Kenzie Longanecker remains perfect in the circle, throwing her sixth win of the season.
The first game was a low scoring affair as ETSU plated a run in the second and sixth inning to take the win. The first run was scored on a sacrifice fly to right field and the second run was scored as the Bucs doubled and then singled to bring in the run.
The Mountaineers came close in the top of the fourth, stranding two runners after Baylee Morton reached safely on a walk and Mary Pierce Barnes singled to left field. A strikeout and ground out ended the App State threat. Kayt Houston also reached safely in the top of the sixth, but the Mountaineers were unable to push the run across.
Barnes ended the game leading the Mountaineers with two hits. Houston and Allie Sewell added the other two hits. The Mountaineers ultimately left five runners on base and the Bucs stranded seven.
Sydney Holland (3-2) received the loss in the circle for App State, giving up four hits and both runs. She struck out one in six innings. Kelly Schmidt (3-1) was victorious in the circle for ETSU, holding the Mountaineers to just four hits and one walk. Schmidt struck out five.
Kylie Toler and Lilly Holston had the two RBIs for ETSU and Andrea Sarhatt added two hits. Sarhatt also scored a run, as did Lauren Lee.
The Mountaineer bats came alive in the second game, scoring in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings to earn their 11th win of the season. Emma Jones continued her strong week at the plate, hitting a three-run home run in the second to lead App State to victory.
Jones also started the rally in the first inning with a leadoff single up the middle. Keri White moved her to second with a sacrifice walk but Jones was ultimately caught stealing third. With two outs, Houston stepped up to the plate and tripled off the left field fence to score Morton who reached base with a walk.
In the top of the second, Caylie Kifer walked and Sewell was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second for Jones, who then proceeded to smash the ball over the left field fence to bring in three and give the Mountaineers a 4-0 lead.
Longanecker was able to keep the Bucs hitless until the bottom of the third when Faith Adams doubled down the left field line. Julia Fritz followed it up with a single to score ETSU’s only run of the game.
App State added two more in the fourth as Sewell walked to start the inning. Gabby Buruato hit a bunt single to put runners on first and second. Pinch runner Abby Cunningham reached third on a fielder’s choice and was able to score on a throwing error by the catcher as Jones stole second. Jones also scored on a sacrifice bunt from White.
The Mountaineers plated their final insurance run in the top of the fifth as Barnes singled to left center to start the rally. Caylie Kifer reached safely on a fielder’s choice and Maegan Calandra singled to center field to put runners on first and second. Buruato scored Kifer on a single to left field.
Longanecker held the Bucs to just two hits and struck out seven in her six innings pitched. Delani Buckner threw the final inning of the game, giving up one hit and striking out two. Jones and Buruato ended game two with two hits apiece. Jones had three RBIs, as well as White, Houston and Buruato each adding one.
The Mountaineers begin Sun Belt play this weekend, making the trip to South Alabama to take on the Jaguars in a three-game series. The doubleheader Saturday is set to begin at 2 p.m., followed by a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.