App State recorded two run-rule victories on Sunday, shutting out North Carolina Central 8-0 and 17-0, respectively. The Mountaineer defense allowed only four total hits on the day and the 17-run margin of victory tied with App State’s largest margin since a 20-3 win over Radford in 2015.
App State started the scoring in the top of the second as Mary Pierce Barnes singled to right field to start the rally. Caylie Kifer laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her to second, putting her in position to score as Gabby Buruato singled through the right side to put the Mountaineers up 1-0.
The Mountaineers spread out their offensive attack, plating a run in the fourth and fifth inning as well. In the fourth, Buruato started the inning with a single to left field, followed by a single from Allie Sewell to put runners on first and second. Keri White then singled to center field to bring in Buruato from second.
Baylee Morton was the rally starter in the fifth, knocking a double to center field. Pinch runner Addison Jones was moved to third on a deep fly ball and scored on a sacrifice fly from Barnes to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth.
The breakthrough for the Mountaineer bats came in the top of the sixth inning, with Kayt Houston hitting the first grand slam of her Mountaineer career to cap the inning. Emily Parrott started the two-out rally, reaching base on a bunt single. White moved her to third off a single to center and Jones was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Morton drew a walk to score Parrott and the bases remained loaded. Houston smashed the ball over the center field fence to give App State the 8-0 advantage.
From there, the Mountaineer defense remained solid, recording three outs in the bottom half of the inning to earn the run-rule victory. Kenzie Longanecker (5-0) threw her second set of shutout innings this weekend, pitching the six-inning win. She gave up just two hits and one walk, striking out five on the day.
Along with Houston’s four RBIs, White, Morton and Buruato each tallied one. White and Buruato also led the team with two hits.
Twelve different Mountaineers tallied a hit in game two, with Jones leading the way with four hits, including two triples. Morton, Houston and Maegan Calandra each added two hits. Nine different Mountaineers had at least one RBI, including five with multiple RBIs.
Freshman Delani Buckner (1-2) earned her first win in the circle, pitching the full five innings and giving up only two hits. She struck out eight and did not record a walk en route to the run-rule win.
The Mountaineer bats let loose in the third inning of game two, scoring five runs in the top to take the lead. Parrott started the inning with a single up the middle and then stole second. Jones then stepped up to the plate and knocked a triple to left center to score Parrott.
Morton continued the rally, singling through the left side, followed by another single from Houston. Barnes reached base on a fielder’s choice and an error by the shortstop loaded the bases for Kifer who singled down the left field line to score two more. Sewell rounded out the inning with a single up the middle to score Barnes to give the Mountaineers a 5-0 lead.
The Mountaineers doubled their lead in the fourth, scoring five more runs. White scored the first run of the inning all on her own, reaching safely on a single to the shortstop. She then stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher, and scored on the throw. Jones started App State again, hitting a triple to left field to set up the score as Morton singled to right field. Abby Cunningham hit her first RBI of her Mountaineer career, scoring pinch runner Shelbi Tucker on a ground out to second base. Pinch hitters Sidney Russell and Calandra scored the final two runs of the inning.
App State exploded for seven runs in the top of the fifth to extend the lead to 17-0 and earn the run-rule win. Cunningham tallied another RBI, as well as Addison Jones, Kati Waalk and Emma Jones. Calandra hit a three-RBI double to end her day with four RBIs.
The Mountaineers are back in action on Tuesday, continuing their road trip to Johnson City to take on East Tennessee State in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.