GREENSBORO – The North Carolina A&T softball team put together 12 hits to take down Maryland Eastern Shore 9-1 in six innings at the Aggie Invitational Saturday afternoon.
It was the Aggies (3-3 overall) first win in their invite as Friday’s game against Morgan State was canceled. A&T’s defense behind freshman pitcher Maiven McKnight combined with its bats to hand the Hawks their sixth loss of the season.
“One through nine performed for us today,” head coach Kenya Peters said. “We needed everyone to string hits together and we did just that.”
Sophomore Kimberly Brunson was 3-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored. Senior Tranea Jones finished with two hits, two RBI and two runs scored. Junior Zebresha Blakeney tallied a pair of hits and freshman Dasia Moore added two-run RBI single.
With the game tied at 1 heading into the bottom of the second inning, the Aggies got things started when Brunson singled with one out. Senior Jax Kaye Woodard followed up with a double to center field to put A&T up 2-1. A series of passed balls allowed Woodard to score, giving the Aggies the 3-1 edge.
After a quick inning on defense, A&T scored two more runs off hits from senior Sabrina Edmonds, Jones, and Brunson. The Aggies scored another run in the fourth but they did their damage in the sixth inning. With one out Blakeney singled to right field and advanced to third after Moore doubled to left field. With two outs, Jones smashed a double to left center to give the Aggies the 8-1 advantage. Senior Tiffany Macklin drove in the final run with a single to left field to end the game in six innings.
Freshman Maiven McKnight recorded the win and held the Hawks to just four hits and struck out three.
“Maiven has really came in and stepped up,” Peters said. “We always want our defense to rally behind the pitcher and the girls did a good job of doing that. Tomorrow we just want to go out on a good note with a lot of intensity.”
The Aggies dropped their second game of the tournament, an 11-0 decision to St. Francis who has gone undefeated during the invitational. Seniors Alejandra Barcenas and Shelby Snyder recorded A&T’s only two hits. Sophomore Janika May fell to 2-1 in the circle and recorded three strikeouts.
The Aggies will conclude the tournament on Sunday, Feb. 23 when they face Rider at 12:30 p.m.