April 25, 2012

Appalachian State hands Tech a pair of losses on final home day

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Appalachian State rained on the Tennessee Tech softball team's final homestand as the Mountaineers took two games by scores of 5-2 and 14-4.

After Wednesday's doubleheader was delayed for two hours because of travel issues and weather, Tech was able to begin the final day of 2012 softball in Cookeville.

The Mountaineers came out firing early, as Allie Cashion hit a solo home run in the first inning of game one.

The Golden Eagles left the bases loaded in the first, but got on the board in the second as Samantha Everett walked to open the frame and Kayla Floyd hit an outfield single to bring her across.

Appalachian State rallied for four runs on six hits in the top of the third before an out was recorded. After a pitching change, the Golden Eagles were able to force three infield outs, leaving three Mountaineers stranded.

Tech would add a run in the fifth off of three walks and a fielder's choice allowed Melody Christian to score. The Golden Eagles also loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with a chance to tie, but all three were left stranded as a strikeout ended the game.

Taylor Ketchum suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs on six hits in two innings of work. Pitching by committee, Appalachian State's Caroline Wainright took the victory, shutting out the Golden Eagles and recording two strikeouts in two innings in the circle.

Game two began in the same fashion, as the Mountaineers scored an early run in the first, yet left the bases loaded. They would go on to add a run in each the third, fourth and fifth innings.

The Golden Eagles put two on the board in the third as Angi Sakamoto opened the inning with a walk. Christian then hit a bunt single and advanced to third on an error that allowed Sakamoto to score. Playing in her final game at the Tech Softball Field, senior Brooke Basten then hit her team-leading eighth double of the year to score Christian.

Tech tacked on another in the fifth as Cassie Garrett reached on an error, Sakamoto walked and Christian hit another infield single. Basten then hit an RBI sacrifice fly to center to plate Garrett, making the score 4-3.

After two quick strikeouts to open the sixth, the Mountaineers rallied to get their next eight batters on base, scoring five runs on five hits and a pair of Tech errors.

The Golden Eagles opened the sixth inning, putting two on base with the help of two Appalachian State errors. Samantha Everett then hit a sacrifice fly to left, allowing junior Emily Burch to cross the plate.

The Mountaineers once again put on an offensive display in the seventh, scoring five runs on six hits and two errors. Caroline Williams hit a three-run homer and Cashion hit her second solo home run of the day to give Appalachian State the 14-4 victory.

Wednesday marks the first time the Golden Eagles have allowed 14 or more runs at home since 1989 (vs. Maryville), and the most in a game since February 2010 against Western Illinois.

Appalachian State once again used four pitchers in the game. Caitlin Wainright earned the win, striking out for without allowing a hit in two innings in the circle.

Erica Tuck was tagged with the loss, allowing two earned runs and four walks in four innings of work. Claudia Harke came in in relief, giving up three earned runs and striking out six in her three innings.

On the day, Harke pitched eight innings and allowed only the three earned runs. She struck out seven and walked just two.

Melody Christian led the Golden Eagles from the plate, going 5-for-7 with and RBI and two runs scored. She also stole a pair of bases and drew a walk.

Appalachian State's Cashion had a phenomenal day, hitting six-of-eight with five RBIs on two home runs, a triple and a double while scoring three times. Megan Rembielak scored five runs and stole four bases while tallying five hits.

The Golden Eagles hit the road to face Mississippi State on Saturday before wrapping up conference play at Morehead State.