The App State softball team recorded its ninth straight victory this weekend, sweeping Sun Belt opponent ULM in a three-game series. With the win in the third game, the Mountaineers set a new program record for longest win streak. App State is now 20-10 on the season, moving to 4-5 in Sun Belt play. ULM falls to 10-20, 4-7 SBC.
Mother Nature had something to say in the first game of the series that was played on Saturday. The Mountaineers and Warhawks battled until the top of the sixth inning when the game was suspended due to weather. App State had the 8-2 lead.
Game one was ruled a complete game win for App State Sunday morning, since the game made it to the sixth. App State and ULM then played a doubleheader beginning Sunday morning at 10, with the Mountaineers winning both of those games 1-0.
The Mountaineer bats opened game one strong, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. Keri White started the rally with a leadoff home run to left field. Sidney Russell added an RBI double and Gabby Buruato followed it up with a two-RBI double. Mary Pierce Barnes hit App State’s third straight double, scoring Buruato and giving the Mountaineers a 5-0 lead.
App State added another in the third, as Emily Parrott doubled to bring in Taylor Thorp who reached safely on an error. The Warhawks followed that up with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth, with Kennedy Johnson hitting a two-run home run.
With a 6-2 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth, Caylie Kifer led off with her first home run of the season to give the Mountaineers the 7-2 lead. Thorp had the last RBI for App State, hitting a sacrifice fly in the fifth to score Buruato.
Kenzie Longanecker (11-3) received the win in the circle, throwing five innings and striking out four. Murphy Williams (2-5) was the losing pitcher for ULM.
The next two games were pitcher’s duels, with App State winning both 1-0.
One run in the bottom of the third was all pitcher Sydney Holland need in game two, as she threw a three-hit shutout for her fifth win of the season. Baylee Morton started the third with a single up the middle and Kayt Houston followed with another single to left field. Buruato then reached safely on a throwing error by the third baseman, scoring pinch runner Sidney Martin for the game-winning run.
ULM threatened, leaving two runners on base in both the second and the fourth, but the Mountaineer defense was able to shut them down. In Holland’s seven innings of work, she struck out three. Gianni Hulett received the loss for ULM, striking out five. Along with Morton and Houston, Barnes and Thorp also added a hit.
Seven innings wasn’t enough to decide the third game of the series, as the Mountaineers took the series sweep with a walk-off in the bottom of the eighth inning. Delani Buckner was the hero in the circle for the final game against the Warhawks, throwing her first career Sun Belt shutout, giving up only two hits on the day.
Both teams played a tight game, with ULM leaving five runners on base and the Mountaineers leaving only four on base. The breakthrough for App State came in the eighth as Keri White hit a single to the shortstop. Kifer sacrificed her to second with a bunt to put White in scoring position for Morton. With two strikes, Morton waited on the change-up and hit the walk-off, scoring White for the win.
Houston, Russell, Buruato and Parrott also had hits in the third game. Hulett once again threw the complete game for ULM, falling to 4-4 on the season after giving up one run and striking out two.
App State is back in action next weekend, hitting the road to take on Georgia Southern in a three-game series beginning on Saturday.