ORMOND BEACH, Fla. –North Carolina A&T’s 2019 softball season came to an end Thursday night but not without a fight. Coming one of their best performance of the season earlier in the day, the Aggies had another good offensive showing but it was not enough in a 7-5 loss to the Howard Bison in an elimination game at the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship Softball Tournament at Ormond Beach Complex.
The Aggies saw their season come to an end at 9-31. Howard advanced and will play N.C. Central 3 p.m., Friday in an elimination game. The Aggies advanced to play Howard Thursday evening after defeating Delaware State, 10-0.
Junior Alyssa Smith led the Aggies by going 1-for-3 with two RBI.
N.C. A&T trialed 5-3 going into the home half of the fifth inning. Senior Zadia Davis led off the frame with a single up the middle. Davis moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before senior Zadaisha Waddell put two runners on by walking.
Davis and pinch runner Alisa Maldonado moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Sophomore Samantha Ramirez reached on a fielder’s choice allowing Davis to score to cut the Bison’s lead to 5-4.
Sophomore Hailee Cutts tied the game at 5 with an RBI single up the middle to score Maldonado. The rally ended on a double play.
Howard reclaimed the lead in the visitor’s sixth. Two singles put runners on first and second for the Bison (18-28). Kalita Dennis then doubled down the left-field line to score Kamryn Tillman to give the Bison a 6-5 lead.
HU added an insurance run when Camille Navarro grounded out allowing Sienna Herrera to score.
The Aggies had two more at-bats to further their season. But Tracey Mosley retired the last seven Aggies she faced to earn the win in the circle and improve to 6-8 on the season. Waddell (4-9) took the loss with Dennis going 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored.
N.C. A&T will say goodbye to a special senior class that includes three-time All-MEAC selection Waddell. Mohagony Headen also started four years for the Aggies along Zadia Davis who earned third-team All-MEAC honors this season.
Taylor Martin and Morgan Chisholm also put on the Aggies uniform for the last time on Thursday. The Aggies do have an array of young talent coming back including freshman Eternal Fuller who batted .288 in her first season. Freshman Nikki Varela batted .274 in her rookie season.
Ramirez and Cutts are showed promise during their sophomore seasons.