GREENSBORO (March 7, 2018) – North Carolina A&T softball ended its 10-game losing streak with a 7-2 win over Norfolk State in the second game of a doubleheader played at the Lady Aggies Softball Complex Wednesday. The Spartans defeated the Aggies 13-6 in the first game.
The Aggies (3-14) were very productive offensively on Wednesday. They produced 10 hits in the first game with senior outfielder Raven Gray going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI. Sophomore shortstop Stephanie Williams was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
In the second game, freshman Azaria Isbell drove in two runs. Junior Mohagony Headen added a 2-for-3 performance with a run scored and an RBI. What made the difference in Game 2 for the Aggies was pitching. Junior Zadaisha Waddell was superb in the circle. She did not have a strikeout, but she kept the Spartans (9-12) from getting the ball in the air on a pesky windy day that made flyballs difficult to catch. Waddell secured 16 groundball outs in improving to 1-1 on the season.
Waddell secured the first two outs in the first inning before the Spartans eventually got a two-out, two-run RBI single up the middle from Tuli Iosefa to give the NSU a 2-0 lead. Waddell pitched six straight shutout innings from there, only giving up three hits over those six innings.
At the plate, Waddell helped the Aggies get a run back in their half of the first with an RBI single that scored senior Nathaly Pacheco. N.C. A&T then took the lead for good in Game 2 with a three-run second inning thanks to a two-out rally. To open the inning, freshman Nijah McCray reached by swinging and missing on a third strike. But the wild pitch on the third strike by NSU starter Hunter Halford allowed McCray to reach by rule as NSU catcher Kylee Lopez was not able to recover the ball in time to throw out McCray.
It eventually led to a game-tying run as McCray stole second and reached third on a wild pitch before a groundball error led to McCray scoring. Pacheco started the two-out fun to give the Aggies a 3-2 lead with a single that scored Morgan Chisolm who reached on a fielder’s choice. Williams’ infield single gave the Aggies a two-run advantage as junior Zadia Davis, who also reached on a fielder’s choice, scored.
Headen helped the Aggies add another run in the second with an RBI double, and the Aggies put the Spartans away with two-run sixth ignited by Headen who opened the inning with a single up the middle. Isbell followed with a triple to center field to score Headen. Davis scored Isbell on an RBI single to give the Aggies a 7-2 lead. Waddell sat the Spartans down to give the Aggies a much-needed victory. Halford (2-6) took the loss for the Spartans.
In the first game, the Aggies matched the Spartans hit for hit over the first four innings and had the lead after the first inning. NSU put up two runs in the first, but the Aggies responded with a three-run in their half of the first thanks to a two-run RBI triple from Gray. Williams brought Gray home with a two-out RBI single for a 3-2 Aggies lead.
NSU tied the game in the second and took a 6-3 lead with a three-run fourth. N.C. A&T fought back in their half of the fourth with a two-run single from Gray to cut the Spartans lead to 6-5. But the NSU offense kept going, scoring seven runs over their final three innings. Skylar Swain (5-3) got the win, while Headen (1-4) took the loss.
N.C. A&T will play in their fourth invitational of the season when they travel to Wilmington, N.C., to play in UNC Wilmington’s invitational March 9-11. The Aggies open with UNCW 10 a.m., Friday before playing Youngstown State at 3 p.m., later in the day.