DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – North Carolina A&T got solid pitching in the first game and late offense in the second game but could not pull out either one as the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats swept the Aggies 3-0 and 5-3 on Saturday in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) doubleheader at Sunnyland Park.
The Aggies (8-24, 5-7 MEAC) were led by senior Zadaisha Waddell who went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored in Game 2. Freshman Etnernal Fuller was 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the second game.
In the first game, senior Mohagony Headen pitched a strong complete game but came away with the loss in the circle. Headen pitched six innings, had three strikeouts and walked two. The Wildcats (19-26, 10-1 MEAC) only mustered four hits against Headen.
But Bethune-Cookman’s Alexis Bermudez had the slight edge in the circle after she pitched a complete-game four-hitter with nine strikeouts. The Wildcats got the advantage they needed against the Aggies in the first inning.
A two-run homer by Kaiya Epps-Lee off Headen gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead in the first. B-CU added another in the fourth. The Aggies did put a runner on in the seventh when freshman Nikki Valera singled, Alyssa Smith grounded out to end the game.
The second game saw the Wildcats get off to another fast start. Against Waddell, who started the second game in the circle for N.C. A&T, B-CU scored their first run on a throwing error. Brianna Paysinger made the Aggies pay even more by hitting an RBI double to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead in the first.
Epps-Lee followed with an RBI single to score Paysinger to give the Wildcats a 3-0 advantage. B-CU added two more runs in the third on an Aggies throwing error to make it a 5-0 game.
But the Aggies tried to stage a rally starting in the fourth. Waddell hit her 18th career home run, a solo shot to put the Aggies on the board for the first time on Saturday. Fuller opened the fifth frame with an infield single. A fielding error and a single by Varela loaded the bases.
Sophomore Samantha Ramirez brought home a run with an RBI sacrifice fly to score Fuller to cut the Wildcats lead to 5-2.
The Aggies tried to put together one last rally in the seventh as Fuller singled off Wildcats starter Destiny Enriquez. Fuller went to second and third on consecutive groundouts before Waddell hit an RBI single to score Fuller to cut the Wildcats lead to 5-3 while also putting the tying run at the plate.
But Ramirez grounded out to end the game. Waddell (4-6 the loss in the circle despite only giving up three earned runs. Her counterpart in the circle, Enriquez (6-6) got the win.
The two teams play the series finale noon Sunday at Sunnyland Park.