skip to Main Content
Killian Roberts
Killian Roberts went three-for-three batting with two runs scored.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Softball Falls in Weekend Finale

It was another close contest in Greenville to close out the Purple-Gold Invitational, with the App State Mountaineers taking the lead in the third and keeping it until the sixth, but a two-run sixth inning propelled the ECU Pirates ahead to pick up a 4-3 win.

Making her third start of the weekend, Sejal Neas pitched well again for the Mountaineers (9-10), striking out five batters in six innings. For the week, Neas struck out 25 batters in 24 innings of work. She held the Pirates (21-2) to just one run through the first five innings.

Peyton Darnell continued to be a force at the plate against ECU, driving home App State’s first run of the game to give her 22 for the season. In her second start in as many games, Hannah Forbes delivered home a run in the fourth to push the Mountaineers ahead by two, marking her first RBI of the season.

Kayt Houston’s two-hit day against ECU capped off her strong weekend as she scorched a team-high eight hits across the seven games this week. She recorded a hit in all but one game this week.

Both pitchers started the game with clean innings in the first as Neas struck out the first two batters she saw in dominating fashion, throwing just 10 pitches in the inning. The Mountaineers used Neas’ clean inning as momentum in the second inning, seeing Taylor Thorp and Olivia Cook reach base via a walk.

Addie Wray’s productive flyout advanced both Thorp and Cook into scoring position, marking App State’s best scoring chance to that point, but ECU starting pitcher Addy Bullis kept the Mountaineers off the scoreboard in the second.

ECU capitalized on the scoreless frame from their defense and scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second to take a lead. Now behind, the Mountaineer offense did well to answer in the third as a lead-off walk from Abby Cunningham and a single by Houston put two runners on base with no one out.

A fielder’s choice marked the first out in the third, but a passed ball moved Grace Barrett into scoring position. With runners at second and third, Darnell stepped to the plate and drove a deep fly ball into center, which tied the game at one apiece. On the same play, Barrett’s aggressive baserunning advanced her to third and a fielding error by the Pirate third baseman allowed her to race home to give the Mountaineers their first lead of the game.

The Mountaineers extended their lead to two in the fourth inning, using a Killian Roberts single and a two-out RBI by Hannah Forbes to plate a run. Roberts singled up the middle on an 0-2 pitch to give the Mountaineers their second hit of the game and she was advanced to second on Wray’s SAC bunt.

With two outs, Forbes lined a two-strike hit into left-center and Coach Hoerner gave Roberts the windmill, scoring App State’s third run of the game. It was Forbes’ first RBI of the season. Now with a two-run lead, Neas came back for her fourth inning of work and posted another scoreless inning, stranding two more runners.

Two runners reached in the fifth for App State as Houston picked up her second hit, but nothing came of the rally as ECU’s defense tallied three straight outs to end the inning. The Pirates used that scoreless frame and trimmed away at the deficit in their half of the fifth, scoring their second run to make it 3-2 in favor of App State after five complete.

The Pirates took the lead in the sixth inning, scoring two runs on two hits, and retired the last six Mountaineers in order to close out the win.

App State heads back to Dail Softball Stadium for a rematch with ACC opponent NC State on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.