ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - Hope Fletcher drove in two runs and
Zabresha Blakeney scored twice to lead North Carolina A&T to a 3-1 upset win over
Delaware State at the 2012 MEAC Softball Tournament at Ormond Beach Sports
Complex on Thursday.
Delaware State came into the game as the MEAC Northern
Division top seed, while the Aggies (16-33) were the fourth and final team to
qualify for the tournament out of the MEAC Southern Division. The Aggies will play Bethune-Cookman Thursday evening at 7.
"We got a nice win
over a very good team," said A&T head coach Mamie Jones. "I thought our
defense did a great job of getting us out of some tough situations, and I
thought Ashira (Dobison) made some great pitches in some timely situations."
Dobison threw 123 pitches over seven innings, but still
managed to improve to 15-19 on the season after the Hornets stranded 13 runners
on base. The Aggies also played through adversity after playing without leadoff
hitter Dominique Smith and first-team All-MEAC selection Juanita Jernigan
(Jernigan, leg injury, did come up in a pinch-hit situation in the sixth
Hope Fletcher, a 2011 second-team All-MEAC selection,
filled in for Smith and delivered the decisive blow to the Hornets in the
After a Blakeney walk, Delaware State turned to its third
pitcher of the game in Stephanie Sarris. Sophomore Tiffany Macklin greeted her
with an RBI triple to left field to give A&T a 2-0 lead. Sarris did strikeout
Alexandra McAfee, but Fletcher brought Macklin home with a sacrifice fly to center
field for a three-run lead. Fletcher also had an RBI double in the second.
A&T turned to its defense the rest of the way. In the
fifth, with runners on first and second for Delaware State, Ashlyn Campbell
singled to center field. Macklin gathered the rolling ball quickly and fired
the ball to the infield to prevent Stephanie Martello from scoring. Tawny
Reeger followed with fly out to right field. Martello was prevented from
tagging and advancing home by an excellent throw to the infield by Detavia
Kenan. The inning ended on a fly ball to right.
In the sixth, the Hornets left two more runners in
scoring position before getting on the scoreboard in the seventh inning.
Delaware State right fielder Breanne Parr led off the inning with a double. Two
batters later, Casey Beighley tripled to right field to score Parr. Dobison
didn't lose her composure as she got Skye Boris to foul out to third to end the
Delaware State drops down to the losers bracket and will
play again at 4:30 p.m., today. Beighley took the loss for the Hornets (8-5).