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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 Garners Two Members on the All-Conference Team

For just the third time as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, two App State Softball players were honored with All-Sun Belt honors, the league announced Tuesday.

Senior outfielder Kayt Houston was named to the first team, making her the first Mountaineer to be named All-Sun Belt first team two times and the first player to garner multiple first team all-conference nods since Allie Cashion (2011-13). It’s Houston’s third career postseason honor, which makes her the second App State player to garner an all-conference selection three times (Cashion).

In her first season in the High Country, catcher Peyton Darnell was named All-Sun Belt second team, marking her fourth career all-conference nod. The Fort Mill, S.C., native was named All-Big South first team three times at USC Upstate while also garnering Big South Player of the Year honors in 2022.

Kayt Houston (OF) – All-Sun Belt First Team
Houston posted one of the best seasons in program history, finishing the regular season as the Sun Belt leader with a .434 batting average and passing Lindsay Glover’s mark for most career hits at App State, finishing the season with 247 career hits. Houston’s 72 hits this season were the second-most in a season in App State history, and her 18 doubles tied her with Cashion and Glover for the most in a single season by a Mountaineer.

The Rock Hill, S.C., native also finished the regular season in the top two in slugging percentage (second), on-base percentage (second), OPS (second) and hits (second). Houston was the only player in the Sun Belt to be in the top three in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and OPS.

Her fourth year in the High Country saw her tally a team-leading 22 multi-hit games, which included a four-hit, two-homer game against Le Moyne on Feb. 16 in the Winthrop Eagle Classic and led to her receiving Sun Belt Player of the Week honors. In Sun Belt play, the lefty boasted the eighth-best batting average in the league at .395 while also boasting the fifth-best on-base percentage at .505.

Peyton Darnell (C) – All-Sun Belt Second Team
Darnell made an immediate impact in her first season as a Mountaineer, finishing third on the team with 54 hits and driving in a team-leading 45 runs. Her 45 RBIs were the fourth-most in the Sun Belt Conference in the regular season and tied for the third-most in a single season in program history. The graduate student drove in at least one run in 28 games and recorded a team-best 11 multi-RBI games.

She fit right into the middle of the Mountaineer order as she started all 51 games in the third spot of the lineup. She tallied her 200th career hit as part of a three-hit effort against Coastal Carolina in App State’s series-opening 5-2 win while also slugging a home run that same game. Darnell hit three homers against top-75 RPI teams, which included two home runs against South Alabama in early April.

With 11 home runs, Darnell was one of just 12 players in the conference to post double-digit homers during the regular season. It was the third time in her career that she slugged at least 10 home runs in a season. Acting as the primary catcher, she was one of two Mountaineers to post an OPS over 1.000 and one of three players with at least 50 hits.

2024 Sun Belt Conference Softball Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Mihyia Davis, Louisiana
Pitcher of the Year: Jessica Mullens, Texas State
Newcomer of the Year: Brooke Ellestad, Louisiana
Freshman of the Year: Payton List, James Madison
Coach of the Year: Gerry Glasco, Louisiana

First Team
Georgia Hood, Coastal Carolina
Brooklyn Ulrich, Marshall
Hannah Earls, Texas State
Brooke Ellestad, Louisiana
Sara Vanderford, Texas State
Mihyia Davis, Louisiana
Reed Butler, James Madison
Kayt Houston, App State
Mackenzie Brasher, South Alabama
Bella Henzler, James Madison
Hannah Borden, Southern Miss
Payton List, James Madison
Olivia Lackie, South Alabama
Jessica Mullins, Texas State
Sam Landry, Louisiana

Second Team
Sam Roe, Louisiana
JJ Smith, Texas State
Alexa Langeliers, Louisiana
Taylor McKinney, Troy
Audra Thompson, Troy
Sydney Bickel, Marshall
Delaney Keith, Coastal Carolina
Lourdes Bacon, ULM
Emma Davis, Georgia Southern
Bella Gerlach, Marshall
Peyton Darnell, App State
Laney Credeur, Louisiana
Jana Lee, Southern Miss
Raelee Brabham, Coastal Carolina
Chloe Riassetto, Louisiana

{Information provided by Appalachian State Athletics}