GREENSBORO – Junior Raven Smith’s walk-off hit in the eighth inning helped the North Carolina A&T softball team notch a 6-5 win over South Carolina State in the second game of a Sunday afternoon doubleheader played at the Lady Aggies Softball Complex.
The Aggies won the first game 4-3. The Aggies (10-14, 2-0 MEAC) and The Bulldogs (8-15, 0-2 MEAC) will complete their three-game series Monday afternoon at 1.
SCSU held a 5-3 edge over the Aggies in Game 2 but all that changed when A&T used the seventh inning to tie the game at 5 on a huge two-out rally. Senior Jax Kaye Woodard who was pinch hitting, started the rally with a single. Senior Sabrina Edmonds cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 5-4 when she doubled to left field. Senior Tiffany Macklin pinch ran for Edmonds and advanced to third on a passed ball. An error by the second baseman allowed Haley Snyder to reach first and drive in the tying run.
The international tie breaker rule was enforced in the eighth inning which allowed SCSU to start the inning with a runner on second. The Bulldogs’ came up empty-handed as A&T’s defense recorded a 1-2-3 inning.
The Aggies placed senior Tranea Jones on second in the eighth and with one out, sophomore Alexiss Dominiquez popped up to right field to move Jones to third. SCSU recorded the next out, but Smith’s game-winning hit on the next at-bat sealed the deal for the Aggies.
The Bulldogs put up two runs in the first but the Aggies responded with two of their own to tie the game. A&T took a 3-2 lead in the second after Smith scored on a wild pitch. SCSU scored a run in the fourth, fifth, and sixth inning.
Freshman pitcher Maiven McKnight (4-2) earned the win for A&T while Vianney Gomez fell to 3-8. Senior Shelby Snyder recorded a game-high three strikeouts.
Edmonds was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Smith was 2-for-4 with a run and RBI.
It was another close game in the opener, but both teams kept one another scoreless for six innings as they both did their damage in just one inning.
After the Bulldogs took a 3-0 advantage in the top of the third, A&T answered with four runs off four hits to take the 4-3 edge.
Sophomore Alejandra Barcenas led off with a single to left field. With one out freshman Dasia Moore was able to reach on an error, moving her to second and Barcenas to third. Edmonds’ single to center field scored both runners. Woodard drove in two more runs when she jacked the first pitch over the left-center field fence, to notch her second home run of the season.
The Aggies recorded 10 hits behind Barcenas, junior Zebresha Blakeney, Woodard and Jones, who each finished with two hits.
Sophomore pitcher Janika May tossed a complete game for the win and is 5-7 in the circle. She finished with a game-high four strikeouts.