GREENSBORO – The North Carolina A&T softball team split a pair of games during the opening day of its 2014 campaign at the Hornet Invitational in Montgomery, Alabama. After dropping a 6-4 decision to Alabama A&M, the Aggies responded with a 9-3 win over host Alabama State on Saturday.
A&T (1-1 overall) used a big first inning against Alabama State where it put together six runs off four hits from sophomores Alejandra Barcenas and Janika May and juniors Raven Smith and Zebresha Blakeney.
It was May again who got the fourth inning started with a double and moved to third off a groundout. An error from Alabama State allowed May to score, giving the Aggies the 7-0 advantage.
Meagan Dixon put the Hornets on the board in the in the fifth inning with a leadoff homerun. A&T scored again in the sixth inning with two outs and runners on first and second as an error in leftfield gave the Aggies the 9-1 lead. Alabama A&M answered in the seventh with two runs from a pair of hits and an error but their comeback fell short as the Aggies lead was insurmountable.
May was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. May also recorded the win for A&T in the circle. She tossed a complete game and tallied a game-leading six strikeouts. Freshman Dasia Moore was 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI.
In their first game, the Aggies found it hard to get their offense going early on as their defense gave up five runs in the first inning. A&T managed to score a run in the bottom of the first, however, after senior Haley Snyder’s double scored Barcenas.
Moore led off the fourth inning with a double as senior Tiffany Macklin reached on an error on the next play, placing Aggies on first and third. Senior Dominique Smith laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Moore, cutting Alabama A&M’s lead to 5-2.
After freshman pitcher Maiven McKnight took over in the first inning, she kept Alabama A&M scoreless for the next three innings. In the fifth the Bulldogs used a hit and an A&T error to score a run.
The Aggies saw their offense come together in the sixth as senior Sabrina Edmonds led off with a walk. Moore cranked out another double and tallied a RBI to slice A&T’s deficit to 6-3. With one out Raven Smith singled to centerfield, advancing Moore to third. Moore scored the Aggies final run off a groundout from Smith.
Senior Shelby Snyder recorded the loss for A&T. McKnight allowed just two runs off six hits and struck out three batters.
The Aggies will face Alabama A&M on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 9:30 a.m., and Gardner-Webb at 12 p.m. to close out the tournament.