SB: Barnes Hits Grand Slam in Series Finale Shutout

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March 24, 2019
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March 25, 2019
SB: Barnes Hits Grand Slam in Series Finale Shutout

PANTHERSVILLE, Ga. – With the possibility of a Sun Belt series loss hanging in the balance, the Mountaineers made sure they would leave no doubt in game three. 

With three runs in the first inning and four in the third, Appalachian State (20-8, 8-1 SBC) shut out Georgia State (5-26, 3-6 SBC) 7-0 to win the Sun Belt Conference road series. 

With their 20th win, the Mountaineers have now won the most games in a season since 2013. That year Appalachian State went 31-22 overall and 17-7 in the SoCon to win the SoCon Championship. 

Kenzie Longanecker pitched a three strikeout, one walk game to add to her record of now 12-1. That is the most wins by a pitcher since Alissa Schoelkopf in 2013 who finished the season 20-12. 

The Mountaineers started the game off hot with a 3 run and 4 hit first inning. After Keri White got on base with a walk, a Jenny Dodd single would move her to third base. 

Haley Stewart would bring her home with a single of her own followed by a sac fly by Sidney Russell to bring home Dodd. Mary Pierce Barnes doubled down the left field line to bring in Stewart and a quick 3-0 lead had the Mountaineers rolling. 

With Dodd having reached base, it marks the 25th game in a row that she has done so. Dodd is sixth in the Sun Belt with a .515 on base percentage. 

In the third inning, Dodd would reach again this time on a walk. She leads the Sun Belt in walks with 31 on the season and is second in the nation. 

Stewart would single again and Russell reached on error loading the bases for Barnes. 

Taking advantage of the situation at hand, Barnes sent the pitch over the right field wall for a grand slam, her first home run of the season. 

The Mountaineers would earn another hit on a Megan Walker single in the sixth inning and preserved the shut out. 

After the second inning, App State would not allow a runner beyond second base the rest of the game. 

“Another great win for our team and our program,” head coach Shelly Hoerner said. “Kenzie pitched one heck of a game against a very good hitting team. Our situational hitting and defense was key today. I am proud of our continued resilience and fight until the end of every game.”

The Mountaineers, sponsored by AutoStar Nissan of Boone, are scheduled for a rematch against East Tennessee State in Johnson City on Wednesday, March 27. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.