The App State softball team took two from Radford on Saturday afternoon, winning the first game 5-2 and coming from behind to take the second game 3-1. With the wins, the Mountaineers move to 16-10 on the season, while Radford falls to 12-18.
In game one, the Mountaineer bats tallied seven hits to take the win, scoring in the first three innings and the fifth to earn the 5-2 victory. App State capitalized on a Radford error to put its first runner on base in the bottom of the first, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Caylie Kifer to move Keri White to second. Baylee Morton then singled to bring in White for the first run of the game.
Mary Pierce Barnes continued the rally, walking to put runners on first and second. Gabby Buruato reached safely on a throwing error by the shortstop, scoring Morton and putting the Mountaineers up 2-0.
Radford answered with a run in the second as Destiny Freeman homered to center field to bring in a run. The one-run deficit for Radford didn’t last long as Taylor Thorp hit her first home run of the season to push the Mountaineer lead to 3-1.
Another run for the Highlanders came in the third as a walk and a single pushed a run across to cut into the lead again. From the third, the Mountaineer defense and starting pitcher Kenzie Longanecker shut down the Highlanders for the remainder of the game.
The bottom of the third was another successful inning for the Mountaineer bats as Morton singled to put a runner on base for Sidney Russell, who singled to bring in Morton. The Mountaineers’ final run was scored in the fifth with Buruato scoring Barnes, who reached safely on a single through the left side.
Morton and Buruato ended game one with two hits apiece and Buruato also tallied two RBIs. Longanecker earned her ninth win in the circle, pitching a complete game and striking out one. For Radford, Freeman had two hits and one RBI. Sydney Fisher had the other RBI. Jessie Marvin received the loss in the circle, falling to 4-10 on the year.
The second game didn’t see as much offensive action, with both teams only posting three hits. All of App State’s hits came in the sixth, which proved to be the deciding inning in game two.
Radford struck first with another home run, this time, Autumn Slemaker hit one over the right field fence to give the Highlanders the lead. That would be the only run from Radford, as starter Sydney Holland finished the game giving up only two more hits.
The Mountaineers couldn’t get anything going at the plate until the sixth inning when Russell lit a fire with a home run to left field, her second of the season. Morton was hit by a pitch prior to Russell’s at bat, making it a two-run home run for the 5th year senior. Buruato followed it up with a single and Thorp scored her on a single to right center, tacking on an insurance run.
With a 3-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh, the Mountaineer defense needed three outs to end the game. Back-to-back errors put runners on first and second for Radford and a ground out put them on second and third with one out. The game was ended on a double play by the App State defense as Buruato caught a line out in right field. The runner on third from Radford was then called out for not tagging before the catch was made, ending the game and giving the Mountaineers their second win on the day.
Russell, Thorp and Buruato tallied the Mountaineers’ three hits, as Russell tallied two RBIs. Holland received her fourth win in the circle, giving up only three hits and striking out one. Skyler Dehart falls to 3-2 in the circle for Radford, ending her day with one strikeout as well.
App State returns to the field on Wednesday, hosting UNCG in another non-conference matchup. Sun Belt play resumes on Saturday, April 10, as the Mountaineers welcome ULM to Boone for a three-game series.