HAMPTON – It came down to the wire for the North Carolina A&T softball team in a pair of games. Hampton found itself on top in both games Tuesday afternoon in 1-0 and 3-2 A&T losses at the Lady Pirates Softball Complex.
“These last few games have been really close, and we just have to do a better job of executing,” head coach Kenya Peters said. “We’re at the point in the season where we’re starting to go through everyone on our bench and we need people to step up.”
Freshman pitcher Jaimie Jordon made her debut in the opening game and performed well as she registered three strikeouts and held Hampton to three hits. Freshman Syerra Askew also had a good outing as she led the Aggies (14-23) with two hits to record her first multi-hit game.
Game 1 was a close all seven innings as each team went back and forth trading 1-2-3 innings. The Aggies outhit the Pirates but left four runners on base in two imperative innings.
A&T had an opportunity to get on the board in the fifth inning when Askew led off with a single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt from senior Tiffany Macklin moved Askew to second and with two outs, freshman Charity Douglas singled to center field to advance Askew to third. Douglas, however, got caught trying to steal second which ended the inning.
In the sixth Margaret Wilkins doubled down the left field line and stole third to put the Pirates in scoring position. On the next at-bat Danielle Budden used a sac bunt to score Wilkins as Hampton took the 1-0 lead.
The Aggies tried to respond in the seventh with two outs as freshman Dasia Moore doubled to center field but was thrown out at third to end the game.
Jailynn Jackson (14-10) tallied a game-high seven strikeouts in the win.
In Game 2, the Aggies tied the game at 1 in the fourth inning on a two-out rally initiated by Askew’s single to left field. Moore singled up the middle and Barcenas loaded the bases with an infield single. A passed ball helped A&T to even the score on the following at-bat.
Hampton regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth with Diamond Ponds’ RBI hit to score Kerissa Burrel.
A&T responded in the fifth inning after Macklin unloaded on the first pitch to notch her first homer of the season and sixth of her career, which was a leadoff shot over the left field wall to tie the game at 2. Unfortunately for the Aggies, Budden was Hampton’s answer in the bottom of the fifth as she led off with a solo home run, pushing the game to 3-2.
Macklin, Barcenas and Moore recorded two hits each. Senior Shelby Snyder fell to 2-11 as Jacholia Pratt (7-8) earned the win and finished with three strikeouts.
A&T will host Samford on Friday, April 25 for a single game starting at 2 p.m.