GREENSBORO (February 21, 2018) – North Carolina A&T softball made an unfortunate mishap with two outs in the fifth inning of the first game of a doubleheader against Gardner-Webb Wednesday at the Lady Aggies Softball Complex. It was costly.
In Game 1, the Bulldogs used an eight-run in fifth to defeat the Aggies 15-4 in six innings. GWU took Game 2, 9-0 in six innings. Freshman second baseman Jendayi Wright, senior outfielder Raven Gray and junior Zadaisha Waddell had two hits apiece. Wright had her second double of the season in the game.
It was a Gray RBI double in the first that helped the Aggies get on the board in the first as she scored junior outfielder Zadia Davis who reached on an infield single. The Bulldogs recovered with three runs in their half of the third to take a 3-1 advantage. GWU maintained that lead until the fifth when they expanded it due to some mistakes.
N.C. A&T freshman reliever Haliee Cutts walked Rachel Cumiskey to open the fifth. Lauren Huffman into what should have been a force out at second. Instead, the throw from third base was thrown high, allowing pinch-runner Annemarie Warley to advance safely while Huffman reached first on the fielder’s choice.
Two wild pitches by the Aggies allowed Warley to score for a GWU 4-1 lead. Jenna Wacaster recorded the second out of the inning, which is when the Aggies problems really started. An error allowed Trinity Sterrett to reach and Huffman to score. An error at third base allowed Weslyn Almond to reach to put runners on first and second. A bunt single Andria Booth loaded the bases for Kaylee Wacaster who hit a grand slam over the left field fence for a 9-1 lead. GWU added two more runs in the inning to complete the eight-run frame for an 11-1 advantage.
The Aggies did fight back in their fifth. Waddell opened the fifth-inning scoring with an RBI single to score Wright. Waddell advanced to second on the throw home to get Wright. Gray advanced to third on throw after she reached on a single. Gray scored on an RBI single from Nathaly Pacheco.
Junior first baseman Mohagnoy Headen then hit a flyball to left field that was dropped, which allowed pinch runner Nijah McCray to score to cut GWU’s lead to 11-4. The Aggies later loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but left the runners stranded. A groundout by senior outfielder Talisha Jenkins advanced moved Pacheco to third and Headen to second. Redshirt freshman third baseman Marcey Jiles loaded the bases when she was hit by a pitch, but the Aggies stranded the runners as sophomore shortstop Stephanie Williams hit into a force play.
GWU scored four runs in the sixth, but this time the Aggies did not respond. Despite a double by Wright and a single by Waddell, the Aggies were not able to score in their sixth inning, ending the game on the run rule.
Waddell got the start, but was replaced after 1.1 innings pitched. Freshman Bayleigh Kirby pitched an inning before Cutts came in to pitch the final 3.2 innings. Kirby (0-4) took the loss, while Ashley Wark (6-2) got the win. Kaylee Wacaster (6-2) got the win. Kaylee Wacaster also went 4-for-5 at the plate with five RBI and three runs scored.
In the second game, Laken Myers (3-2) got the win while Headen (1-2) got the loss. Cutts went 2-for-2 at the plate for the Aggies. GWU broke away in the third with a five-run inning highlighted by a three-run homer by Huffman.
The Aggies dropped to 2-9 on the season and Gardner-Webb improved to 9-4 after. N.C. A&T will return to action for the Belmont Invitational March 2-4 in Nashville, Tenn. They will open with host Belmont on March 2 at 4:30 p.m.