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Kaylie Northrop threw seven innings, allowing five hits, no runs, no walks, and struck out 10.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App Wins Over Iona at Wolfpack Classic

A three-run first inning got the day started for App State Softball, and Kaylie Northrop kept Iona’s bats silent in a 7-0 win over the Gaels in the Wolfpack Classic on Saturday afternoon.

The App State-Cleveland State game also scheduled for Saturday has been moved to a 1 p.m. start time Sunday, and the Mountaineers will face host NC State at 3:30 p.m.

Five of the seven RBIs from the Mountaineers (6-4) on Saturday came from the first three batters in the lineup. Kayt Houston led the way by tallying two hits, one of which was a home run, and recording two RBIs. Peyton Darnell had a similar performance with two hits and two RBIs. Grace Barrett added one hit and one RBI out of the No. 2 spot in the order.

Northrop was dominant in the circle throughout the game. The strikeout pitch was working all game for Northrop, as she racked up 10 in her complete-game performance. While Iona had at least one runner reach base in five of the seven innings, Northrop and the Mountaineer defense kept the Gaels (0-1) off the scoreboard, stranding all eight batters that reached.

App State kept the pressure on all game, as it had a runner reach base in all seven innings, but the strong start would prove to be the difference in the win.

App State scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back. After a leadoff walk from Houston and a single from Barrett, Darnell doubled to center field, scoring both. Three batters later, Olivia Cook singled through the right side, bringing in Darnell.

The offensive attack continued in the second inning, when Houston doubled to the left-center gap and moved to third on the throw home, scoring Abby Cunningham, who had reached on a single. Houston scored off a Barrett RBI groundout to the second baseman.

The Gaels threatened in the bottom of the fourth inning. After the leadoff batter reached on an error, the following batter singled to left field. After a fielder’s choice moved both runners into scoring position, Northrop got a swinging strikeout to end the frame.

Houston padded App State’s lead in the top of the fourth, homering to right field for her fifth long ball of the season. The Black and Gold got some insurance in the top of the seventh, when Addie Wray singled through the left side to score Summer Simpson, who had run for Darnell after a leadoff single.

The Mountaineers threatened again in the seventh following Wray’s RBI single and a Brooke Kennerly walk to load the bases. A lineout ended the inning and left the bases loaded, but the Mountaineers had extended their lead to seven before the third out.

Northrop returned to the mound for the bottom of the seventh, getting a groundout, strikeout and flyout to end the game and cap off a dazzling performance.

App State will complete its weekend at the Wolfpack Classic with a doubleheader on Sunday. The Mountaineers will take on Cleveland State at 1 p.m., and a matchup with the hosting Wolfpack from NC State is slated for 3:30 p.m.