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Peyton Darnell
Peyton Darnell went three-for-four bating with a run scored and an RBI with a solo home run.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Softball Wrap up Winthrop Eagle Classic

A day full of firsts punctuated App State’s final game of the Winthrop Eagle Classic as both Taylor Chumbley and Grace Barrett slugged their first collegiate home runs while Killian Roberts tallied her first home run in an App State uniform, leading the App State Mountaineers to a convincing 15-0 win over Mount St. Mary’s on Sunday.

Overall, the Mountaineers (4-4) scored in four of the five innings, tallying multiple runs in each inning they scored. Four home runs and 14 hits helped App State close its showing at the Winthrop Eagle Classic with a bang.

Fresh off a complete-game gem in the circle in game one yesterday, Kaylie Northrop took the ball first against Mount St. Mary’s (1-3) and threw four shutout innings. With a 15-run lead through 4.5 innings, Jenna Samuel made her first career appearance and slammed the door shut with two punchouts in her collegiate debut.

19 different Mountaineers saw the field in the weekend finale with eight of those 19 players driving in at least one RBI. Both Chumbley and Neveah Hildebrandt recorded their first RBI in the Black and Gold in the win. Chumbley also made her first career start, tallying two hits and three RBI.

The win capped off an incredible offensive weekend for App State as head coach Shelly Hoerner’s squad scored 44 runs throughout the five games this weekend and beat three teams by at least nine runs.

In the circle, the trio of Delani Buckner, Kaylie Northrop and Sejal Neas pitched very well this weekend and the defense backed up the pitching staff. App State outscored their opponents 44-9 at the Winthrop Eagle Classic.

Acting as the road team at the neutral venue to cap off the weekend, the App State bats immediately got to work, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Kayt Houston led off the game with a double and was moved over to third by Grace Barrett, putting a runner in scoring position for Peyton Darnell. Darnell promptly drove Houston home with a groundout for App State’s first run.

Now with the bases cleared, Killian Roberts stepped to the plate and crushed her first home run of the year down the left-field line, giving the Mountaineers a two-run lead. Roberts was huge this weekend for App State as she tallied five hits and drove in four runs across the five games.

Northrop worked around a lead-off walk in the second inning to keep the score at 2-0 after two, tallying her second strikeout of the game in the process. The Mountaineers immediately paid off Northrop’s hard work with two more runs in the third on back-to-back homers by Barrett and Darnell. It’s the first time this season that App State has tallied back-to-back home runs while Barrett’s one-out bomb in the third marked her first collegiate long ball. Mount St. Mary’s worked to retire the side in the inning, but the Mountaineers had struck for three home runs through the first three innings of the game to take a four-run lead.

Two runners reached against Northrop in the bottom of the third, but the lefty continued her dazzling performance, stranding them both in scoring position. Northrop allowed just one hit across her four innings of work in the game.

App State plated two more in the fourth to extend the lead to six courtesy of Chumbley and Darnell. On the first pitch she saw in the inning, Chumbley unloaded on a middle-cut pitch and drove the ball over the left-center field wall, becoming the second Mountaineer in the game to hit their first career home run. The Mountaineers loaded the bases in the fourth with one out, allowing Darnell to step to the plate where she drove in her third run of the game with a sac fly. After four, the Mountaineers led by six.

After another harmless inning from Northrop, the Mountaineers piled on in a big way, scoring nine runs in the fifth inning. Three straight baserunners led off the big inning, allowing Chumbley to drive in her second run of the game via an RBI single. A single by Wray loaded the bases for the second straight inning, sending Riley Becker to the plate. Becker promptly singled through the hole to drive in run No. 8 of the game with nobody out.

Houston got involved with her second double of the game with this one driving in two more runs to give App State an even 10 runs for the game. App State scored two more runs courtesy of a Mount St. Mary’s error and loaded the bases again for pinch-hitter Neveah Hildebrandt who drew a bases-loaded walk to plate her first RBI in an App State uniform.

Thorp then drove a ball through the left side to plate Darnell and Chumbley’s third RBI of the ballgame made it 15-0 before Mount St. Mary’s finally retired the side. When it was all said and done, the Mountaineers had tallied their highest-scoring inning of the young season and the second inning this weekend where they scored at least eight runs.

Jenna Samuel relieved Northrop in the fifth inning and immediately recorded her first career strikeout, blowing a ball by Purgason. A flyout to right and Samuel’s second strikeout closed the game out in what was a perfect debut for Samuel.

The Mountaineers head to Raleigh for another five-game weekend set at the Wolfpack Classic next Friday-Sunday. While in Raleigh, App State will square off against ACC opponent NC State for the first time this season. First pitch against Cleveland State is set for Friday at 11:30 a.m.