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Big Weekend Awaits A&T Softball

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 05/04/2012
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Sophomore third baseman Tranea Jones' .316 batting average is going to look even better once Juanita Jernigan returns to the lineup. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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Game: N.C. Central (3-23, 0-12 MEAC) vs. North Carolina A&T (13-32, 5-7 MEAC)

When: Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. DH

            Sunday, May 6 at Noon 

Where: Lady Aggies Softball Complex

Must See
 Juanita Jernigan. Earlier this week, Juanita Jernigan was seen in her uniform for the first in two weeks after she sustained a hamstring injury. If Jernigan is getting healthy, coupled with All-MEAC performer Hope Fletcher returning to the lineup, the Aggies could very well be a tough out when MEAC tournament time comes. Jernigan leads the Aggies in batting, and when you put her in the lineup with Tranea Jones hitting in front of her and Sabrina Edmonds hitting behind her, the Aggies offense is as powerful as any other in the conference. Alexandra McAfee has played well at first base, which may allow Jernigan to work her way back into the lineup as a designated player.

Qualifying Time

&T needs to win once over the weekend to secure a berth into the MEAC tournament May 10-12 in Daytona, Beach, Fla. The Aggies hold the tiebreaker advantage over fifth-place S.C. State (3-9).

Aggies vs. Eagles
Despite the history behind the intense rivalry, the fast-pitch softball teams just started playing one another in 2008. They recently began playing each other when N.C. Central started making the transition from Division II CIAAA to Division I MEAC. A&T leads the all-time series 8-4 even though the Eagles won both games of a doubleheader last season.

About N.C. Central
Theresa Stephens is in the first season of a rebuilding project at N.C. Central. The Eagles have lost 17 in a row with their last win coming on March 20 as they beat Maryland Eastern Shore 13-7. Despite their record, the Eagles are very competitive. Two weeks ago, the Eagles lost two one-run games to S.C. State and last weekend they lost two close ballgames to Florida A&M. Cember Carmichael leads the team with a .327 batting average, six home runs and 22 RBI. She also leads the team in doubles with 10. Bianka Molina is the Eagles' top pitcher. She is 2-23 with a 5.81 ERA in 154.1 innings pitched. She has made 31 appearances with 24 starts.

No Seniors
The Aggies will play their final home game of the season on May 6. It is a day usually designated for Senior Day, but head coach Mamie Jones has no seniors to honor. The Aggies have played with 12 players most of the season. The upside to the lack of depth for A&T is the fact that all 12 players are slated to return for the 2013 season. Jones has a solid foundation t o build on for next season. There will be some type of ceremony done on Sunday. Jones usually honors the player who has recorded the highest grade point average on the year.

That's So Raven
Raven Smith has been a solid defensive player and wonderful offensive threat for head coach Mamie Jones. She has made only one error since March 27, a span of 22 straight games. During that same period, she has been a catalyst for the Aggies offense by recording five doubles and walking six times. She is hitting .310 with three home runs and 20 RBI. She shares the team lead in doubles with Jones at eight.

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