GREENSBORO – Senior Tranea Jones went 3-for-3 and finished with a game-high four RBI to help the North Carolina A&T softball team defeat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 10-7 in its first game on Saturday at the Tennessee State Invitational in Nashville.
The Aggies (5-9 overall) dropped the second game to Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 4-1 in the No.2/No.3 matchup and will face the loser of the Tennessee State/Saint Louis game on Sunday at noon in the consolation game.
After Arkansas-Pine Bluff tied the game at 1 in the top of the third, the Aggies took the 2-1 edge in the bottom of the inning after Alejandra Barcenas led off with a single and moved to third off a sacrifice bunt and groundout. Sabrina Edmonds drove in Barcenas with two outs off a double to left field to give A&T the lead.
Pine Bluff responded and scored two runs in the fourth inning off three hits but the Aggies regained the advantage later in the inning after Tiffany Macklin singled and Jones hit a RBI double to left field to tie the game at 3. An error on the next play allowed Jones to score, giving the Aggies the 4-3 lead.
It was a big fifth inning for both teams as Pine-Bluff used two hits and a pair of A&T errors to take the 7-4 advantage. But the Aggies who have fought their way back in games this season didn’t find it hard to come back.
Edmonds led off the bottom of the fifth with her third homer of the season followed by Jax Kaye Woodard’s first of the year to cut Pine Bluff’s lead to 7-6. Macklin and Jones reached base after they were both hit by pitches and moved to second and third off a wild pitch. A passed ball allowed Macklin to tie the game at 7 as Jones gave A&T the 8-7 lead after Barcenas drove her in.
The Aggies scored two more runs in the sixth to push their lead to 10-7 as they kept Pine-Bluff scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Woodard and Edmond both finished with two hits as the Aggies recorded 11 for the game. Maiven McKnight earned her second win in the circle as she threw a complete game and struck out three.
In the second game it was Pine Bluff who kept A&T off the bases. In the first inning, the Aggies scored their only run off a RBI single from Haley Snyder.
A&T held the 1-0 edge until Pine Bluff took the 3-1 lead in the sixth inning with three hits and an error. Pine Bluff extended its advantage to 4-1 in the seventh by scoring one run off three hits.