ELON – The North Carolina A&T softball tried to use a seventh inning rally but fell short after giving up three home runs which cost it a 7-3 setback to Elon, Tuesday afternoon at Hunt Softball Park in a non-conference game.

The Phoenix (18-16-1) scored first with Emily Roper’s sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Lauren Oldham who reached on a walk giving Elon a 1-0 edge in the first inning. Pitcher Caitlyn O’Shea gave Elon a 2-0 lead when she led off the second inning with a solo homer over the center-field fence.

Junior Zebresha Blakeney gave the Aggies their first hit of the game in the third inning followed by a single to left field by senior Tiffany Macklin. Both runners were stranded as A&T was unable to ignite its offense.

Senior pitcher Shelby Snyder walked the first two batters to start the bottom of the third, but senior catcher Sabrina Edmonds fired a shot down to third base and threw out Carleigh Nester who was attempting to steal. The Phoenix still found a way to drive in runs when Aly Quintana belted a two-run homer to stretch their lead to 4-0

Sophomore pitcher Janika May relieved Snyder in the third inning with one out but that couldn't stop Elon as Grace Eng belted a solo home run, pushing its advantage to 5-0.

In the fourth inning, Nester drove in Alaina Hall with a double to left field followed up behind Roper’s double which scored Nester and gave Elon a 7-0 cushion.

The Aggies finally got on the board in the sixth inning when Macklin doubled to left center. A groundout by Edmonds moved Macklin to third and senior Haley Sndyer notched an RBI with an infield hit, cutting Elon’s lead to 7-1.

A&T rallied in the seventh inning with junior Raven Smith’s two-run single up the middle which scored freshman Dasia Moore and senior Dominique Smith to make it 7-3. 

Macklin tabbed her first multi-hit game of the season by going 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Snyder (1-6) finished with two strikeouts in the loss. With the win, O’Shea improved to 5-8, allowed four hits, and recorded a pair of strikeouts.

The Aggies will visit Florida A&M for a MEAC series beginning on Saturday, April 6. The doubleheader on Saturday starts at 1 p.m. The Sunday finale is at noon.