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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 Shutout by Marshall

App State Softball will look to close a Sun Belt Conference road series at Marshall with a win Sunday after dropping a 6-0 decision Saturday afternoon.

Kayt Houston led App State with two hits and reached base three times during a game that was tight most of the way. The Mountaineers (19-26, 4-16) trailed 1-0 before Marshall (23-24, 9-11) extended its lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. To that point, starting pitcher Delani Buckner had allowed only five hits, with center fielder Addie Wray making a leaping grab near the wall to rob the Thundering Herd of extra bases.

Kaylie Northrop took over on the mound in the fifth and pitched the final two innings.

App State had at least one baserunner in six of seven innings, as Houston singled with one out in the first and Macy Hamby singled to open the second. Double plays erased both of those threats.

Marshall had two doubles in the bottom of the first inning to go ahead 1-0, but Buckner stranded a runner in scoring position thanks to a flyout to center. She stranded two runners in the second inning via a swinging strikeout.

Olivia Cook’s two-out walk preceded a groundout to end the top half of the third, and Buckner put up another scoreless frame in the bottom half.

The Mountaineers played small ball in an attempt to tie the game in the fourth, following Houston’s leadoff walk with a sac bunt, but a groundout to third and popout to second ended that threat. Buckner responded by tossing a scoreless fourth, highlighted by Wray’s leaping catch to open the frame.

After retiring the side in order in the fifth, Marshall broke open the tight contest with three runs, starting with a single and then a two-run homer from Bella Gerlach. After the Thundering Herd moved ahead 4-0, it loaded the bases against Northrop with nobody out, but a foulout to Taylor Thorp at third preceded a double play in which Thorp caught a line drive and tagged third.

Houston’s two-out double in the sixth didn’t result in any runs, and Gerlach hit a two-run homer — her 17th homer of the season — in the bottom of the sixth. App State put two runners on in the seventh, thanks to Ambry Lucas’ walk and Wray’s two-out single, but a lineout to left ended the game.

The series concludes Sunday at noon. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.