Hornets Defeat Aggies In Nine
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (March 4, 2017) – North Carolina A&T dropped both their games to open the Alabama State Tournament, falling to Loyola Chicago 4-1 before facing tournament host Alabama State, losing in nine innings 7-6 at Barbara Williams Stadium on Saturday.
Freshman Alyssa Green led N.C. A&T against the Hornets, going 2-for-4 while senior Kimberly Brunson continued her strong performance this season adding another of the Aggies six hits. Mohagony Headen started the game for N.C. A&T, pitching through five innings before being replaced by Zadashia Waddell in the sixth.
Waddell pitched a complete game in her 11th appearance of the season, allowing eight hits and four runs over 29 batters faced against Loyola in the first game of the day. She was a leader from the plate as well, producing one of the Aggies four hits for the one RBI of the contest. Stephanie Williams, Jillian Nobles and Zadia Davis also contributed a hit apiece in the game. At the end of the day, Davis led the Aggies from the plate, going 2-for-4 while Nobles was 2-for-6 but came away with a double and a home run.
The most competitive game of the day came against the Hornets in the 6 p.m., showdown. Nobles led off the second inning with a home run to left-center field for the first run of the game, but Alabama State matched the Aggies with a home run of their own in the bottom of the inning. N.C. A&T (5-12) moved ahead again in the fourth as Williams led off with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Nobles. A throwing error by Justine Jean allowed Williams to reach home and put the Aggies on top 2-1.
The Hornets took the 3-2 advantage in the bottom of the fourth, but the Aggies would tie the game again in the top of the fifth as Green singled and advanced to second on a stolen base. She moved to third on a groundout by Nathaly Pacheco and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Raven Gray.
It looked as though Alabama State clinched the win as they entered the seventh inning with a 5-3 lead, but the Aggies would not go down without a fight. They went full force against the Hornets in the top of the seventh as Brunson led off with single up the middle. Green followed up with another single and advanced to second as Pacheco reached on a fielder’s choice as Brunson was thrown out at third. A walk to Gray loaded the bases and a fielding error at shortstop put another Aggie run on the board. A wild pitch on the next play tied the game, forcing extra innings.
Nobles was placed on second to start the extra innings and eventually reached home on a fielder’s choice to Brunson. Alabama State scored once in the bottom of the eighth and again in the bottom of the ninth, however, to secure their victory over N.C. A&T.
In the early afternoon matchup, Loyola remained undefeated this season with the win over N.C. A&T. The Aggies got two of their four hits in the fourth inning, leading to their one run of the game. Nobles doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a fielding error at short. A single up the right side from Waddell aided Nobles in crossing the plate, but it was not enough to pass Loyola for the victory.
The Alabama State tournament continues Sunday as the Aggies open the day against Loyola Chicago at 2 p.m., followed by Alabama State at 6 p.m.