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After a hard fought eight-inning battle, senior third baseman Vicki Madden’s single brought freshman shortstop Jackie Warr home for the game winning run against the Mountaineers of Appalachian State on Thursday, March 22. The win for Radford was their seventh in a row, as they now prepare for Big South Conference play.
The Highlanders came on strong in the first two innings, holding off the Mountaineers with their pitching. Senior catcher Michelle Beall, managed a steal home plate in the first inning, and senior outfielder Hannah Ojeda’s single brought in Warr to give Radford a 2-0 advantage at the end of the second inning. The Mountaineers answered in the third with two singles from junior utility Meghan Smith and freshman center fielder Sarah Warnock, finishing with a home run blast from junior outfielder Allie Cashion that handed the lead to Appalachian State. Radford answered right back on their next at bat with runs from freshman shortstop Micalah Sacre and Beall, who both made it back to home plate after some good plays from RU. After three innings, Radford still held the lead at 4-3.
“The teams did a really good job battling back and forth,” Madden said after the game. “It was really a bulldog fight out there.”
In the fifth inning of the game, Beall scored another run for the Highs on Madden’s sacrifice fly and RU now sat on a 5-3 advantage with only two innings left. The Mountaineers didn’t want it to end that easily though.
Cashion managed another homer for the Mountaineers with an Appalachian State runner on first base, giving the Mountaineers the two runs they needed to stay in the game.
“They did a really good job with pitch selection and waiting to their pitch,” Madden said. “Our pitchers were doing a really good job, but when they would mess up or getting behind, they were swinging.”
Madden’s single in the eighth inning allowed the Highlanders to put an end to the game with the rule of starting with a runner on second base in extra innings.
“We had two bad pitches,” said RU Head Coach Mickey Dean. “We tried to overthrow two pitches and both pitches we tried to overthrow stayed flat in the middle.” Dean also explained that Cashion, the player who hit the two home runs to keep Appalachian State in the game, was one of the top ten players in the country in home runs.
“That’s not the [batter] you make mistakes on,” Dean said. “We make the same mistake twice on the same [batter], she hits two home runs.”
Radford’s victory improved their record to 14-8, and they now have won six games in a row.
“I thought we just kept coming back at them,” Dean said. “And luckily we were the home team, so we took advantage of that.”
The Highs will begin Big South Conference play on Thursday, March 28 with a double header against the Liberty University Flames, starting at 2 p.m.
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