ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - Shamaria Engram launched a two-run homer and Karina Romero had two hits and scored twice to lead Bethune-Cookman to a 6-1 win over North Carolina A&T in the 2012 MEAC Softball Tournament at Ormond Beach Sports Complex Thursday night.
The loss moves A&T into the losers' bracket of the tournament. The Aggies (16-34) will play Savannah State in an elimination game scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday. The Tigers swept the Aggies in three games this season.
"We just couldn't get the timely hits when we needed them," said A&T head coach Mamie Jones. "I thought we were right there until late in the game. They got the big hits they needed, and we didn't. "We'll come out tomorrow and try to take better advantage of our opportunities."
The Aggies were looking for their second straight upset of the day after they defeated MEAC Northern Division No. 1 seed Delaware State Thursday morning.
But Engram helped to end those efforts in the fifth inning. A&T starter Ashira Dobison and her counterpart Shanel Tolbert were entangled in a pitchers' duel. Engram lifted a two-run homer to left field, following a single by Romero, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Amari Foster kept the Wildcats momentum going by tripling to right-center field. After Calesha Shelley reached on a bunt single, Dobison tossed a wild pitch over the head of catcher Sabrina Edmonds. Forster scored to give B-CU a 3-0 lead.
Romero drove in another run in the sixth as she singled to score Sabrina Ferguson, who led off the inning with a single to left field. Engram drove her third run of the day with a double to right-center field to give the Wildcats a commanding 5-0 lead.
"I thought (Engram's) home run was huge for them," said Jones. "It gave them the spark they needed, and the game just became easier for them from there."
The Aggies did get on the board thanks to an error by the Wildcats. With one out in the seventh, B-CU third baseman Kelsey Rodney scooped up a routine grounder off the bat of Zabresha Blakeney. Rodney's throw to first, however, sailed wide right, allowing Blakeney to reach second. Tiffany Macklin brought her home with a single up the middle.
But Tolbert, who did not give up an earned run on Thursday night, got first baseman Alexandra McAfee to pop out, and Hope Fletcher to groundout, to end the game. B-CU improved to 28-29 and won for the 12th straight time over A&T. The last A&T win over B-CU happened on May 3, 2009 at the Lady Aggies Softball Complex.