After opening last weekend with the program’s first-ever win against Louisiana, the App State softball team (27-20) stepped out of conference for the final time this season and beat North Carolina A&T (13-28) by a final score of 6-4. A three-run bomb from Emma Jones put the Mountaineers in the driver’s seat and they never looked back. Wednesday’s win cemented App State’s fourth consecutive regular-season winning record under five-year head coach Shelly Hoerner.
App State jumped out to an early lead, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. McKenzie McCullen opened the scoring after she came via a sacrifice bunt from Addie Wray. Kaati Walk then singled to center field to drive in Baylee Morton.
Back-to-back home runs from North Carolina A&T gave the Aggies a 4-2 lead at the midway point of the contest. Jocelynn Bennett’s solo shot to left center in the third inning was followed up by a two-run homer from Dezianna Patmon. An additional run from the Aggies put them up two before App State responded in the bottom half.
After Taylor Thorp drew a walk and Waalk picked up her second hit of the day, Jones stepped to the plate and crushed a pitch over the left field wall to reestablish the Mountaineers’ advantage. Jones also scored the final run of the game as Mary Pierce Barnes picked up the RBI-single, capping the scoreline at 6-4.
Kayt Houston led App State with three hits on the night. Waalk added a pair of hits, driving in a run and scoring once. The fourth-inning blast from Jones was her only hit of the night as she collected three RBIs while scoring two runs.
A combined performance from Delani Buckner and Sejal Neas helped the Mountaineers to victory. Buckner got the start, striking out a trio of batters across three innings of work. Neas dealt the final four innings of the game. The freshman gave up just one run and also collected three punch outs.
App State returns to action on Friday when they open a crucial Sun Belt series against UT Arlington. The three-game series will be the last home series of the season and Sunday’s series finale will serve as Senior Day. First pitch for the opening contest is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday and all three games will be broadcasted on ESPN+.