GREENSBORO – The North Carolina A&T softball team dropped two crucial MEAC games against Bethune-Cookman Friday afternoon at the Lady Aggie Softball Complex.
A&T fell 7-3 in the first game and 1-0 in the second game. Before Friday the Aggies were just two games behind the Wildcats (17-25, 7-1) for first place in the southern division.
In the first game, a reversed call in the top of the seventh inning changed the complexity of the game for the Aggies (14-21, 6-5 MEAC). With two outs and the game tied at 1, B-CU found itself with runners on second and third.
Calesha Shelley was called out at first on a groundout to end the inning. Both teams cleared the field, ready to transition into the bottom of the seventh. But moments later the call was overturned as the umpires ruled that senior Jax Kaye Woodard’s foot was off the bag.
When the top of the seventh reconvened, the runners on second and third advanced as pinch runner Shanel Tolbert scored from third to give B-CU the 2-1 lead. From that point the Wildcats busted open five runs off five hits to take the 7-1 lead.
Although frustrations ran high for the Aggies, they were able to score in the seventh. Woodard led off with a single to center field, followed by a double to center field from senior Dominique Smith. An error by Sophia Ortega allowed senior Tiffany Macklin to load the bases as pitcher Janika May’s RBI single scored a run. B-CU recorded the next out but with bases still loaded, freshman Lauren Irvin’s groundout allowed Smith to score A&T’s final run.
B-CU scored first in the second and took a 1-0 edge off a solo home run from Ortega. The Aggies tied the game in the fourth with freshman Charity Douglas’ RBI sacrifice fly to center field which scored Irvin.
Sophomore Janika May (7-9) finished with a game-high five strikeouts while Sabrina Anguiano improved to 8-13 in the circle and struck out three.
Just one run decided the second game although Bethune-Cookman outhit A&T 8-3. Anguiano’s solo homer in the second inning was the game-winner as the Aggies just weren’t able to get their bats going.
Smith tallied two of A&T’s three hits. Shelley and Anguiana was also 2-for-3 for B-CU.
Senior Shebly Snyder (2-10) tossed all seven innings and notched a pair of strikeouts. Bailey Conner (9-11) threw a shutout and recorded three strikeouts.
The Aggies and Wildcats will complete the series on Saturday, April 19 at noon.