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Mary Pierce Barnes
Mary Pierce Barnes went a combined six-for-eight batting in the doubleheader with three runs scored.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Softball Sweeps Doubleheader From Georgia State

App State softball clinched a series win over Georgia State with a pair of wins on Friday, 8-7 and 8-4.

Kaley Coltrain ended the series opener with a walk-off home run, her first hit since coming back from injury, after the Mountaineers scored seven runs in the first inning. In the second game of the day, Mary Pierce Barnes led the Black and Gold with four hits, totaling six on the day.

Barnes is now the No. 1 hitter in the Sun Belt during conference play, batting .465 through 15 games.

The doubleheader saw five lead changes and one tie, as the Mountaineers recorded 24 hits to Georgia State’s 15.

Game 1 Recap (App State 8, Georgia State 7)
The Panthers got on the board first with two runs in the first inning, but App State immediately responded with three in the bottom of the frame. Sidney Martin began the highlight-filled day for the Mountaineers, hitting a home run past right field on the first pitch she saw.

That was just the first of seven runs in the inning, the rest of which would happen with two outs on the board. After singles by Barnes and Taylor Thorp, Addie Wray brought both runners home with a single up the middle. Kylie LaRousa followed that with a three-run double that forced a pitching change for the Panthers.

After Kennedy Upshire and Kayt Houston were walked, Martin ended the inning in a similar way to how she started it. The junior hit a two-run single to left center, which was the second of eight extra-base hits that App State would achieve throughout the twin bill.

Despite an array of hits by the Black and Gold, they were not able to improve their four-run lead through the next five innings. Georgia State inched away at the scoreboard, eventually coming within one run as the teams entered the seventh inning.

Bailee Richardson, the Panthers’ cleanup hitter, hit a game-tying home run in the top of the seventh. Kaylie Northrop kept the visitors at bay after that, striking out the final batter to keep the score at 7-7.

Coltrain was the first and last Mountaineer to step to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, bombing it to left-center to prove that she is back in midseason form. The graduate student’s game-winning hit was her fifth home run of the season.

Delani Buckner pitched the first five innings, striking out four batters with three earned runs on seven hits. Northrop earned her first save of the season for her clutch play in the sixth and seventh innings.

Martin, Barnes and Thorp led the stat sheet with two hits apiece. Martin and LaRousa each tallied three RBI.

Game 2 Recap (App State 8, Georgia State 4)
App State scored multiple runs in the opening inning again during the middle game of the series, this time grabbing two. The Mountaineers are 15-4 this season when they notch a run in the first frame.

Barnes doubled to send Houston to third before Thorp batted in the first run of the contest. Barnes scored on a passed ball immediately afterward to increase the lead to two.

The Panthers responded with three runs over the next two innings in what would be their last lead of the day.

In the bottom of the third, the Black and Gold scored six runs on six hits, three of which were doubles by Thorp, Upshire and Houston. Upshire and Houston batted in two runs apiece on consecutive at-bats after RBI singles by Coltrain and Wray.

Georgia State added a run in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to four.

Following Barnes’ 4-4 performance was Thorp with three hits and Wray with two. Sejal Neas pitched the entire game and struck out four batters with three earned runs on six hits.

App State has swept seven doubleheaders this season.

The Mountaineers will look to sweep the Panthers in their series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. That game will serve as Alumni Day.