GREENSBORO—Grand slams were the difference on Saturday as the North Carolina A&T softball team benefited from a slam by Jax Woodard in a 9-3 victory, and were the victims of a slam by Madison Hedderly in a 6-4 loss in a doubleheader against Savannah State.
The Aggies (5-24, 3-5 MEAC) combined with the Tigers (21-15, 5-3 MEAC) for six home runs on the afternoon at Lady Aggie Softball Complex twinbill split.
Woodard had two on the day, including a two-run shot in the seventh inning in Game 2 for six RBI on the day. Raven Smith and Tiffany Macklin each homered for A&T in Game 1 as well. A&T totaled 16 hits on the day.
In Game 1, the Tigers took an early lead as first baseman Torrian Wright blasted a two-run shot to center field.
The Aggies responded by getting back-to-back singles by Zabresha Blakeney and Detavia Kenan. Shortstop Alejandra Barcenas then hit a sac bunt, which Wright dropped. With the bases loaded, Woodward stepped up and launched a 1-2 pitch to center field, making it a 4-2 game.
After the grand slam, SSU starter Madison Hedderly retried the next 10 batters she faced. But in the fourth, Tranea Jones singled to short. Raven Smith got every piece of a 1-0 pitch, and dropped it well over the scoreboard in centerfield to make it a 6-3 contest.
The Aggie offense stirred again in the fifth inning. Blakeney led off with a bunt single. She took second as Kenan singled to the pitcher, Madison Hedderly. Barcenas then laid down a bunt, but the throw from Wright hit her in the back, allowing Blakeney to score from second. Woodard then walked to load the bases, leading to catcher Sabrina Edmonds’ RBI sacrifice fly to make it 8-3
Designated hitter Tiffany Macklin got in on the mashing, blasting a 3-2 pitch for a solo homer in the sixth. The Tigers got a single off Shelby Snyder in the seventh, but she retired the final two batters to secure the victory, her fourth on the year.
In Game 2, the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI double to right by second baseman India Morgan.
The Aggies loaded the bases in the second with no out, but starter Amanda McDowell retired the next three hitters to keep A&T off the board.
The Tigers got to senior Ashira Dobison in the third inning. Savannah State plated five runs in the third on an RBI single by Wright, and a grand slam by Hedderly. That was the only tough inning for Dobison, as she held the Tigers to just two base runners in the last four innings.
The Aggies got on board in the fifth. Blakeney walked and scored as Kenan chopped a triple up the middle. Barcenas lined a single through the left side to make it a 6-2 game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Blakeney led off with a single through the left side. With two out, Woodard launched the first pitch she saw over the left field wall to make it 6-4. Edmonds flew out to end the rally.
The Aggies and Tigers will play the rubber match at noon on Sunday.