GREENSBORO, N.C. – An Allie Cashion single to left field in the bottom of the 10th inning with one out would give No. 1 seed Appalachian State University softball the victory over No. 9 Samford in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. on Wednesday night.
With the win Appalachian improves to 31-20 overall on the season, while Samford falls to 15-34 overall.
A leadoff single to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning from Sarah Warnock looked to get things started for the Mountaineers, but a slow hit grounder to second base would end up retiring two as pinch runner Racquel Cooke would be unable to take two bases from the Bulldogs.
Samford got its offense going in the top of the seventh inning when Misha Aldridge singled up the middle before the Apps retired two outs. A single from Caroline Seay put runners on first and second for leadoff hitter Megan Dowdy.
Dowdy dug in with two outs and hit a short single just out of the reach of second baseman Meghan Smith. The hit plated Seay, allowing Samford to take the 1-0 lead over the Mountaineers.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 2-0 when Kayla Shaffer singled through the right side of the field, but a play at the plate would retire the final out of the inning before the Bulldogs were able to score a third run.
Appalachian started a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning when Lindsay Loudermilk singled up the middle before Meghan Smith singled on a slow roller to the first baseman. Sophomore Ashley Seering laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with only one out for the Apps.
Pinch hitter Alex Sohl hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field, knotting the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning and sending the Apps into only their second extra-inning game of the 2013 season.
After an hour and a half rain delay the Apps would return to the field with one out and a runner on first base in the top of the eighth inning. A hard hit grounder to short stop Cynthia Gomez would retire out number two before Aldridge struck out looking for the final out of the inning, sending the Mountaineers into the bottom of the eighth with Warnock due up.
Two walks put runners on first and second with no outs for senior Allie Cashion in the bottom of the eighth inning. Cashion reached first on a fielder’s choice as she moved Warnock to third base with only one out, but the Apps could not come away with the winning run.
International tie-breaker rules went into effect in the top of the 10th inning as Caroline Seay started the inning on second base and advanced to third on a bunt single from Dowdy. Seay would be thrown out at home when she would try to score on a shallow fly out to left field and would be thrown out at the plate by Cashion.
Caroline Rogers was placed on second to start off the bottom of the 10th inning and advanced to third on a Gomez sacrifice bunt. Rogers was retired when a suicide squeeze was called and Warnock was unable to lay down the bunt.
Warnock started up the App State offense when she singled through the right side of the field with two outs and advanced to second on a Dani Heichen single to third base. With runners on first and second Cashion dug in and laced a single to the gap in left that plated Warnock for the winning run.
Heichen and Warnock led the Appalachian offense as they both tallied two hits, while Manriquez, Sohl and Cashion each added one hit and one RBI.
Starting pitcher Alissa Schoelkopf went all 10 innings in the circle as she struck out seven and gave up eight hits with one walk.
Appalachian State will face the winner of the No. 4 seed UNCG and No. 5 seed Furman game on Thursday, May 9 at 4:30 p.m.