BOONE – Two different home runs in two different games helped Appalachian State earn a doubleheader sweep of the North Carolina A&T softball team on Wednesday, 1-0 and 5-3, at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.
Both home runs were hit by Meghan Smith. The first Smith homer was a solo walk-off shot in the home seventh. Her second came in the fifth inning of the second game, a two-run launch that broke open a one-run game.
Despite the losses, one of the Aggies glaring weaknesses early in the season, is starting to improve as they make a push for a berth in the MEAC tournament in two weeks. Over their first 27 games, the three Aggie pitchers – senior Ashira Dobison, junior Shelby Snyder and freshman Janika May – combined to have an 8.12 ERA.
But over the last 10 games, the threesome has a combined 3.05 ERA with Dobison leading the way. She pitched six innings on Wednesday, giving up just three hits, two walks and one earned run in Game 1. In her last four appearances, she has a 2.37 ERA.
May made the start in the second game and went three innings before Snyder pitched the final three innings. When May left the game, the Aggies trailed 3-2. Snyder gave up a leadoff walk to Whitney Johnson to open the App State fourth. But pinch runner Kristen Terry was caught stealing to ultimately end the threat. Snyder wasn’t as fortunate in the fifth inning. Allie Cashion earned a one-out double to right-center field. Smith then took Snyder’s pitch over the center-field fence to give the Mountaineers a 5-2 lead.
A&T (7-30) responded in the top of the sixth as Alexiss Dominguez hit her second home run of the season, as her solo shot went to deep center field. Dominguez was 2-for-3 in Game 2 and her homer led to Alissa Schoelkopf replacing starter Shivaun Landeros. Schoelkopf got Snyder to strike out swinging to end the inning, and then retired the Aggies in order in the seventh to pick up her first save of the season. The Mountaineers improved to 27-16 even after Raven Smith hit a first-inning home run in the second game. It was Smith’s seventh home run of the season and it gave A&T a 1-0.
App State answered with two RBI doubles and a sacrifice fly in the third inning to take a 3-1 lead. But the Aggies moved to within one run when junior Tranea Jones hit a bases-loaded single to right field. Jones was a combined 3-for-6 with an RBI on Wednesday.
A&T’s next opponent will also come from the SoCon as the Elon Phoenix will host the Aggies for a May 1 doubleheader at 4 p.m.