NORFOLK, Va. – The North Carolina A&T softball team split a pair of non-conference games against Norfolk State on Friday afternoon at NSU Softball Field.
After dropping a 4-2 decision to the Spartans (4-13 overall) in the opening game, the Aggies (6-11) responded with a 6-4 win to close out the series.
A&T did all of its damage in the first two innings against NSU in the second game. Sophomore Alejandra Barcenas led off the first inning with a double to center field. With one out, freshman Dasia Moore singled up the middle, followed by an RBI single from senior Haley Snyder to take the 1-0 lead.
After a quick inning on defense in the bottom of the first, sophomore Alexiss Dominguez reached first on an error by the shortstop with one out. Junior Raven Smith drew a walk and Barcenas loaded the bases after reaching on an error by the third baseman. Another error by the Spartans, allowed junior Zebresha Blakeney to reach second, advance Barcenas to third, and score Dominguez and Smith, giving A&T the 3-0 edge.
Moore kept the drive going and drove in Blakeney and Barcenas with a hit to center field. NSU changed pitchers after A&T extended its lead but that didn’t faze Snyder who doubled to left field, placing Aggies on second and third. Senior Sabrina Edmonds reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Moore to score, giving A&T the 6-0 lead. NSU’s defense finally ended the inning with a double play.
NSU answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs, off one hit, and an error to trail A&T 6-2. The Spartans loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a single by Devon Bitler. A fielding error by Dominquez on the next batter cost the Aggies a pair of runs.
The Spartans put up two more runs in the seventh inning when Sommer Di Fulgo hit a leadoff home run. After Heather Dunning singled to right field, Morgan Boyd reached on a bunt single, and advanced to second on a throwing error by Edmonds which allowed Boyd to score NSU’s last run.
Freshman Maiven McKnight improved to 3-2 with the win and allowed just four hits. Blakeney, Moore, and Snyder each finished with two hits.
In the third inning of the first game, A&T scored first after senior Dominique Smith led off with a hit up the middle. One out later, Blakeney and Barcenas loaded the bases with back-to-back hits. Edmonds gave A&T its first run after she was hit by a pitch. With the bases still loaded, pitcher Jamie Schulle walked Snyder as A&T took a 2-0 lead.
NSU tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the third with a two-run homer from Alina Moriarty. The Spartans kept the Aggies scoreless for the remainder of the game and capitalized off a few miscues from sophomore pitcher Janika May, an error, and double from Robyn Mitchell in the sixth inning to win the game.
May (3-4) finished with a game-leading five strikeouts.
A&T returns back to the Lady Aggie Softball Complex on Tuesday, March 18 to host Towson in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.