FT. MYERS, Fla. - Appalachian State University softball opened its 2013 season with a 10-9 victory in eight innings over Southern Illinois before suffering a 9-3 loss to No. 1 Alabama on Friday at the FGCU/LaQuinta Inn & Suites Invitational.
Game One: App State 10, Southern Illinois 9
The Salukis were the first to light up the scoreboard as they scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning. App State picked up the first hit of the game as Meghan Smith singled through the left side of the infield, but was unable to score.
SIU extended its lead to 4-0 in the top of the second inning as they scored three runs on one hit and a passed ball.
The Apps loaded the bases in the bottom of the second as junior Lindsay Loudermilk came around to score on a fielders' choice, bringing App State within three of Southern Illinois.
The Salukis loaded the bases in the top of third and knocked in three runs on two hits. The first run came in when Lacey Newbold singled through the left side of the field scoring Jayna Spivey. Southern Illinois scored its final two runs of the inning when Taylor Orsburn singled to center field.
Appalachian loaded the bases for the second time in the contest as Loudermilk singled to the edge of the grass allowing Sarah Warnock to score from third. The Black and Gold started a rally as it tacked on its second run of the third inning when Caroline Rogers drew a walk that would score Smith, making the score 7-4.
Loudermilk crossed home on a Cynthia Gomez single to the pitcher that brought the Mountaineers within two of SIU with only one out. The Southern Illinois defense shut down the next two batters as the Apps ended the inning trailing the Salukis, 7-5.
Loudermilk notched her second hit of the contest as she doubled to left center scoring Smith and advancing Allie Cashion to third with only one out in the bottom of the fourth. Cashion was left stranded on third as the Apps entered the fifth inning trailing Southern Illinois, 7-6.
The Salukis tacked on two runs in the top of the sixth inning as they scored two runs on a single down the left field line, taking the 9-6 advantage over the Mountaineers.
The Black and Gold made its third offensive strike in the contest as they loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth forcing SIU to re-enter starting pitcher Brittney Lang, but was unable to push a run across the plate.
The Mountaineers battled back in the bottom of the seventh as sophomore Dani Heichen had a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a bunt single by Warnock. Heichen crossed home when Smith singled to right center, bringing the Apps within two of the Salukis.
Appalachian capitalized on a Southern Illinois error to score one and would knot the game at nine all when Loudermilk tacked on her fourth hit of the afternoon, bringing in Smith and sending the game into extra innings.
Gomez would be placed on second for the Apps due to international tie breaker rules and advanced to third on a bunt from pinch hitter Whitney Johnson. The winning run crossed the plate when Warnock singled down the left field line allowing Gomez to score from third.
Loudermilk led Appalachian on offense going four-for-four at the plate with three runs batted in, while Warnock, Smith and Gomez each added two hits. Freshman Shivaun Landeros earned her first career victory as she pitched five innings with three strikeouts and allowing five hits, while Alissa Schoelkopf pitched 2.1 innings with six strikeouts.
The Black and Gold had 12 hits compared to SIU's six with six players on the App State roster tallying a hit and four notching two or more.Game Two: No. 1 Alabama 9, App State 3
Appalachian State fell behind early in the bottom of the first inning against No. 1 Alabama as the Crimson Tide scored two runs on two hits.
Bama extended its lead to 4-0 when Jackie Traina and Danae Hays hit back-to-back home runs to opposite fields.
The Apps first offensive threat of the contest came in the top of the fourth inning when Cashion led off with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a passed ball. Rogers reached first after being hit by a pitch but neither would advance as the Alabama defense shut down the Mountaineers.
The Crimson Tide tacked on three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when they capitalized on two hit batters, one walk and two wild pitches.
App State took advantage of two walks from Alabama pitcher Lauren Sewell in the top of the fifth inning. Cashion dug in with runners on first and second and knocked a home run over the left field fence, making the score 7-3 and picking up her second hit of the contest.
The Crimson Tide responded to the Mountaineers three runs as they scored one run on one hit in the bottom of the fifth inning, extending its lead to five.
Alabama took the 9-3 advantage over the Apps in the bottom of the sixth inning when Chaunsey Bell reached first on a fielder's choice, allowing Hays to score from third.
Appalachian was unable to score in the top of the seventh as the Crimson Tide earned the 9-3 victory over the Mountaineers.
Cashion led App State as she had the only two hits in the game with one home run and three runs batted in, while Alex Sohl drew two walks and scored one. Cashions home run gives her 32 career home runs, which is 12 away from the App State career record. Landeros suffered the loss in the circle, making her 1-1 overall on the season.
With the split Appalachian moves to 1-1 overall on the season, while Alabama improves to 6-0 overall on the season. Loudermilk led Appalachian overall on the day as she tallied four hits, while Cashion, Smith, Warnock and Gomez all had two.
Appalachian State will be back in action on Saturday when it takes on Florida Gulf Coast at 1:30 p.m before playing Wichita State in the night cap. The night game is slated to start at 8:15 p.m.