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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 8, 2018) – North Carolina A&T softball brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning at Florida A&M on Sunday but could not get that run across as the Rattlers defeated the Aggies 4-2 in the final game of their three-game series at the Rattler Softball Complex.

The two teams played a doubleheader on Friday with the first game nationally televised on ESPNU. Saturday’s scheduled finale was postponed due to inclement weather; therefore, Sunday became the rubber game of the series.

N.C. A&T (7-27, 4-5 MEAC) trailed by three runs going into their half of the seventh. Florida A&M Kyaira Brown opened the inning by hitting senior Nathaly Pacheco with a pitch. Brown’s mistake led to sophomore Stephanie Williams’ RBI double to center field to bring the Aggies to within two at 4-2. With no outs and a runner in scoring position, the Aggies had several opportunities to rally for victory and the series win over the four-time defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions.

Redshirt freshman Marcey Jiles moved Williams to third with a sacrifice bunt, putting the Aggies 60 feet away from getting even closer to the lead. But junior Mohagony Headen struck out and freshman pinch-hitter Samantha Ramirez flew out to left to end the game. The Rattlers (16-21, 8-1 MEAC) avoided the Aggies comeback attempt after opening the game with a three-run lead.

Tyra Bowers opened the game against Headen, N.C. A&T’s starter in the circle, with a single. Bowers stole second and had that complemented by an RBI triple from Jamesia Stoudemire to give the Rattlers a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Taylor Rosier followed with an RBI single to add another run on the board. Toni Anderson put runners on first and second with another single and Alexis Day loaded the bases by drawing a walk from Headen.

Headen got the first out of the inning by striking out Brown but forced in a run when she walked Yuri Hampton for a 3-0 FAMU lead. Headen was excellent from that point. She retired the final two Rattlers of the inning and did not give up another hit until the sixth inning.

In the meantime, the Aggies did push across a run in the fourth inning. Junior Zadia Davis opened the inning by reaching on an error. Senior Talisha Jenkins moved her into scoring position with a sac bunt that led to a two-out RBI single from junior Zadaisha Waddell, allowing the Aggies to cut FAMU’s lead to 3-1.

But in the FAMU sixth, Rosier’s RBI double gave FAMU its three-run lead going into the seventh.

Headen (4-6) took the loss in the circle despite striking out eight. Sunday marked the ninth time this season Headen has struck out five or more batters in a game this season. Brown (11-9) got her second win of the series by pitching a complete-game four-hitter.  Headen and freshman Nijah McCray led the Aggies in the three-game series with three hits apiece while Headen, Williams and Waddell had two RBI apiece in the series.

N.C. A&T will spend 10 days away from competition before hosting Western Carolina in a 3 p.m., doubleheader on Wednesday, April 18.