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Kayt Houston
Kayt Houston earned first team all-conference honors for the Mountaineers this season as well.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Softball Drops Finale to Coastal Carolina

A first-inning, opposite-field homer from Kayt Houston, her 29th career long ball, and three innings of one-hit ball in relief from Kaylie Northrop highlighted Sunday’s series finale in Conway for the App State Mountaineers, but a two-run third from the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers would be all they needed as they took home a 3-1 win to claim the series at home.

The Mountaineers (16-21, 4-11 SBC) saw Chanticleer starting pitcher Raelee Brabham well to start the game striking for five hits in the first four innings. App State threatened to score on multiple occasions to begin the day, seeing a runner reach scoring position in each of the first four frames.

Taking the ball for her second start of the weekend, Delani Buckner faced one over the minimum through the first two innings and retired two of the first three she saw in the third. She struck out one in her seventh start of the year. Northrop did well to keep the Mountaineers in the game in relief as she allowed just two Chanticleers (27-17, 7-8 SBC) to reach base in her three innings in the circle.

Addie Wray and Macy Hamby also tallied hits in the contest with Wray striking for her first multi-hit game since March 17. The duo helped put runners on the corners in the third inning and were aggressive on the basepaths all game.

App State’s bid for its second series win of the season started strong as the Mountaineer offense struck first via a Kayt Houston homer. In her first game batting in the second spot this season, she saw a pitch she liked and drove it just over the left-center field wall for her eighth home run of the season.

With the lead after a half inning, Buckner trekked to the circle for the bottom of the inning and retired the side on three flyouts to record a shutout frame. She worked around a two-out single from the three-hole hitter to do so.

Sending the 6-7-8 spots to the plate in the top of the second, Wray got her day going with a leadoff single to put some speed on the basepaths. The first of two sac bunts in the game from Abby Cunningham pushed Wray to second for Hamby. The freshman did her job, putting the ball in play to the perfect spot and beating the throw to first for an infield hit to put runners on the corners. Despite the stress, the Chanticleer defense sat down the next two hitters to maintain the one-run deficit.

Buckner quickly got through the second inning to keep the Mountaineer lead and Houston started the third with a sharply hit single through the hole to make her 2-2. She stole second to put another runner in scoring position, but nothing came from the offense in the third.

Coastal Carolina took the lead in its half of the third inning, using two two-out hits, which included a double to do so. Looking to answer, Wray sent another grounder through the hole in right to spark another rally after she was advanced to third, but the Chanticleers settled down to keep their slim advantage.

Another run crossed the plate for the Chanticleers in the bottom of the fourth, extending their lead and forcing a pitching change. The change in the circle proved successful as Northrop came in and immediately quelled the rally with a strikeout and a lineout.

Northrop continued her great outing in relief with two more strikeouts over the next two innings, giving App State a chance to tie the game as play moved to the final inning. The Mountaineers turned to the bottom of their order to ignite a comeback, but Coastal Carolina recorded the final three outs to claim the win and the series.

App State returns home next weekend where it will host the James Madison Dukes at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium for the first time ever. The teams will play a three-game series starting on Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. Every game against the Dukes can be streamed on ESPN+. Admission to every home game is free.

{Information provided by Appalachian State Athletics}