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Addie Wray
Bunker Hill grad Addie Wray had one of the three hits for the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Softball Sweeps Georgia State

Down to their last at-bat after falling behind in the bottom of the sixth, Addie Wray delivered a single through the middle to tie the score at nine apiece, scoring Summer Simpson from third to send things to extra innings. Then, Peyton Darnell laced a double into left to score Kayt Houston and Delani Buckner worked a scoreless eighth inning to secure a Sun Belt series sweep as the App State Mountaineers won 10-9 on Sunday.

It was a thrilling series finale in Atlanta as the lead changed hands three different times, but App State’s (15-10, 3-0 SBC) resiliency would not be denied as they answered each rally that Georgia State (8-18, 0-3 SBC) had in the game. The Mountaineers scored in the final three innings to claim the sweep.

App State smashed three homers in the win to cap off a stellar offensive showing on opening weekend of Sun Belt play. Killian Roberts’ first-inning three-run homer propelled the Mountaineers ahead early and Houston’s solo homer in the fifth reclaimed the lead for App State after the Panthers tied the game at five.

For the game, App State smacked 12 hits with five going for extra bases. Grace Barrett tallied an opposite-field two-run double in the sixth, which gave her nine RBIs for the weekend.

Overall, seven different players recorded a hit in the win with four of those players tallying multiple hits.

App State started strong in the weekend finale, striking for three runs in the top of the first, which marked the sixth straight game where the Mountaineers have scored first. Back-to-back singles by Barrett and Darnell ignited the offense and Roberts’ long three-run homer sparked App State ahead.

Sejal Neas took the ball first for App State and capitalized off the lead she was given by firing two straight scoreless innings, racking up two strikeouts in the process.

After a clean second from Neas, the Mountaineer bats struck for two more in the third inning to push their early advantage to five after three innings. Darnell reached on an error to lead things off and Taylor Thorp launched her second homer of the week over the left-center field fence on the second pitch she saw. It was App State’s sixth home run of the weekend to that point.

The Panthers used a trio of hits to tie the score at five apiece after four innings, but then Houston got involved in the home run parade as she slugged a solo homer to lead off the fifth inning, promptly putting the Mountaineers ahead by one. It was her seventh home run of the year, putting her into a tie for second in the Sun Belt Conference.

Georgia State tied the game at six in the bottom of the fifth with a run, but Buckner did well to limit the damage to just one run, stranding a runner to end the threat.

Two-out hitting ignited another rally for App State as they answered Georgia State’s run with two in the sixth inning. A walk from Abby Cunningham and a single by Houston put two runners on with two outs for Barrett. On the first pitch she saw, the freshman drove home both runners with a double, marking her eighth and ninth RBIs of the weekend.

This back-and-forth affair wasn’t done yet as Georgia State hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to put them ahead for the first time all game. Despite trailing for the first time, Buckner kept the Panthers quiet for the rest of the inning, retiring the next three hitters in order.

Down to their final three outs, the resilient Mountaineers worked to get a baserunner on courtesy of an error and Olivia Cook singled to put runners at the corners with only one out in the seventh. Wray’s single past the drawn-in infield plated Simpson, firing up the App State dugout as she tied the game at nine. Every time the Panthers scored in the game, the Mountaineers answered with a run in their next at-bat.

Buckner worked a scoreless seventh inning to send the game to extras, marking App State’s first extra-inning game of the season. A lead-off walk by Houston and a stolen base immediately put a runner into scoring position for Darnell with one out. Darnell promptly scorched an RBI double down the left-field line and pumped her first as she touched second, delivering the Mountaineers ahead in the eighth.

Trailing again, the Panthers tallied two hits in their half of the eighth, but a solid play by Hannah Forbes to nab a runner at second on a slow roller and a ground out to third ended the game and clinched a series sweep for the Mountaineers in Atlanta.

App State travels to San Marcos, Texas, for a road series with the Texas State Bobcats next Friday-Sunday. First pitch from Bobcat Softball Stadium is slated for 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT) and can be streamed on ESPN+.