Mountaineers take two from Charleston Southern

Mountaineers take two from Charleston Southern

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Solid pitching and timely hitting helped visiting Appalachian State record the sweep over Charleston Southern on Wednesday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field as the Mountaineers topped the Buccaneers 3-1 and 11-6.

Linzy Rother connected on her third home run over the past three games and Marci Christian and Stephanie Sbardella also went deep for the Buccaneers as the bats came alive in both games, but Alissa Schoelkopf (4-4) kept the Buccaneers at bay, recording the win in both games to shut down CSU.

Appalachian State improves to 7-8 overall on the 2013 season with the pair of wins, while Charleston Southern falls to 5-18 overall on the year.

Charleston Southern remains at home this weekend as the Buccaneers host Mississippi State on Friday afternoon with first pitch at 1 p.m. CSU opens Big South Conference play on Saturday, hosting Longwood University in a three-game series spanning March 16-17 at the CSU Softball Field.

Appalachian State 3, Charleston Southern 1 (Box Score)

A two-run single by Ashley Seering in the top of the third was all the offense Schoelkopf needed as the Mountaineers offset Christian's team-leading fifth home run of the season in the 3-1 victory.

Christian provided the offense for the Buccaneers in the contest, powering a 2-0 pitch into the wind and over the fence in left centerfield for CSU's lone run in the game to lead off the fourth inning.

Stephanie Sbardella had the other hit for Charleston Southern in the game, reaching on a single in the bottom of the first as Schoelkopf kept the Bucs bats quiet throughout a majority of the contest.

Jennifer Giles (2-14) suffered the loss for CSU, going the distance in allowing six hits and three runs (one earned). The sophomore right-hander finished the game with three strikeouts.

Schoelkopf (3-4) picked up the win with her complete game two-hitter, retiring six CSU batters on strikes in the contest.

App State opened up the scoring in the top of the third inning as the Mountaineers loaded the bases with one out. Lindsay Loudermilk reached on a one-out walk and advanced to second on Allie Cashion's base hit. The runners advanced on a passed ball before Meghan Smith reached on a walk, putting ASU in prime position to break the seal on the scoreboard.

Seering following with a base hit through the right side of the infield, scoring Loudermilk and Cashion to put the Mountaineers ahead 2-0 in the third.

Charleston Southern responded in the fourth as Christian led off the inning, drilling a 2-0 pitch into the stiff wind that plagued the outfielders on the day, landing over the left centerfield fence for her fifth home run of the season to narrow the ASU lead.

The Mountaineers added an insurance run in the sixth frame as Loudermilk doubled to centerfield, scoring Pepper Butler to give ASU the 3-1 lead.

Charleston Southern put runners on the corners in the bottom of the seventh with the tying run on base as Jana Matthews led off the inning on a fielding error by the ASU left fielder and Melanie Stickney was hit by a pitch, but the Bucs rally fell short in the end as the Mountaineers held on for the 3-1 win.

Appalachian State 11, Charleston Southern 6 (Box Score)

Allie Cashion, Meghan Smith and Alex Sohl combined for seven RBI and Schoelkopf pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief as the Mountaineers completed the sweep over Charleston Southern with the 11-6 win in the nightcap on the CSU Softball Field.

Stephanie Sbardella and Linzy Rother each hit their third home run of the 2013 season for Charleston Southern in the loss with Sbarella's solo shot coming in the bottom of the first inning, while Rother followed a Jana Matthews' two RBI double with a two-run home run over the fence in centerfield in the bottom of the fourth in the loss.

Schoelkopf (4-4) pitched 3.1 innings in picking up the win, allowing one hit while striking out one in relief of starter Shivaun Landeros.

Rother (2-4) took the loss on the mound in the game, allowing nine hits and nine runs (two earned) in 4.0 innings, while Hayes Holdsworth and Jennifer Giles also saw time inside the circle for CSU in the game.

The Mountaineers struck in the top of the first, sending all nine batters to the plate in building an early 4-0 lead. Cashion plated the first run of the game, scoring Sarah Warnock with one out in the inning. Smith followed with a two-run single to straightaway centerfield, allowing Dani Heichen and Cashion to score. Two plays later, Sohl brought in Smith on a groundout to the shortstop for the early ASU lead.

Sbardella helped the Bucs strike back with one of their own in the bottom half of the inning.

With one out, the junior third baseman sent a line drive that barely cleared the fence next to the camera stand in centerfield to put the Bucs on the board. CSU rallied and loaded the bases with two outs as Marci Christian and Matthews hit back-to-back singles and Courtney Konyk drew a walk, but Landeros escaped the trouble on an infield fly out to keep the ASU lead at 4-1.

Both teams plated five runs in the fourth inning to keep the margin the same as the Mountaineers held the 9-6 lead.

For ASU in the fourth, Cashion hit a two-RBI single and Sohl and Caroline Chambers had RBI singles, while CSU counters in the bottom half of the inning with a Christian RBI single, Matthews two-run double and Rother's two-run blast.

The Mountaineers plated two late insurance runs in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of two CSU errors in building the 11-6 lead.

Heichen drove in the first run on a fielding error by the CSU shortstop and came around to score two plays later on a fielding error by the CSU second baseman to provide the final runs in the game.

Charleston Southern placed runners on base in the fifth, sixth and seventh, but were unable to mount a comeback as Sbardella ended the game on a fly out to deep left field as App State closed out the sweep.

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