Feb. 9, 2014
ORANGEBURG, SC - The Fayetteville State University softball team started its season by dropping five nonconference games in Orangeburg, SC, on February 7 and 8 on the campus of South Carolina State University.
The Lady Broncos followed an 8-0 loss to Brenau in their season-opener with a 16-5 defeat against Division I's Alabama A&M on Friday. On Saturday, FSU lost 8-0 decisions against Georgia Southwestern and USC Aiken and a 15-1 game against Limestone.
"We knew we had a tough schedule and we wanted to see what we need to do so we can practice and be ready for conference play," FSU coach Miguel Justiniano said.
Game 2: Alabama A&M
The Lady Broncos were able to score the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning after Alex Wickham singled, advanced to second base on a Daniqua Taylor groundout and to third on a passed ball. She scored on a Kyrin Walker groundout with one out.
After Alabama A&M scored three runs in the top of the second, FSU tied things up in the bottom half of the inning on a two-out rally started by a Clarissa Pitts single. Rebekah Reep followed with a double that chased Pitts to third and Amanda Anderson followed with a 2-RBI double that drove both in.
Alabama A&M scored six in the third to regain a 9-3 advantage, but FSU scored two more in the bottom half of the inning to draw closer. Taylor led off the Lady Broncos' third with a single and scored on Walker's RBI double. After Sierra Henderson-Holmes popped out to third, Spencer Embler drove in Walker with an RBI single.
Unfortunately for FSU, Alabama A&M scored seven runs over the next two innings and couldn't cross the plate on offense again.
Zoe Howard pitched the whole game (five innings), allowing 15 hits and 16 earned runs. She faced 38 batters, walked five and struck out one.
Game 3: Georgia Southwestern
Fayetteville State started out Saturday against a very tough Georgia Southwestern team. Unfortunately for the Lady Broncos, the Lady `Canes started fast, scoring three runs in the top of the first to set the pace.
After getting through the top of the second without surrendering a run, Sierra Henderson-Holmes started off the bottom half of the inning with a double to center field. A strikeout followed, then Henderson-Holmes got picked off of second. Zoe Howard walked and Clarissa Pitts singled to center, advancing Howard to second. The Lady Broncos couldn't scratch a run across, however, due to a strikeout that ended the inning.
The Lady `Canes scratched a run across in the third to go up 4-0. In the bottom half of the inning, Daniqua Taylor reached on a two-out throwing error, then stole second. She advanced to third on a passed ball, which preceded a walk to Spencer Embler. Ivory Gladden pinch-ran for Embler and stole second, but Taylor was caught stealing home to end the inning.
Neither team scored in the fourth, but Georgia Southwestern scored four in the fifth to put things out of reach.
Walker started in the circle and pitched 4 1/3 innings, surrendering seven runs (three earned) and eight hits. She struck out one batter. Zoe Howard pitched the last 2/3 of an inning, giving up three hits and an unearned run.
Game 4: USC-Aiken
Fayetteville State played its second of three Saturday games against USC Aiken.
The Lady Broncos opened the game with an Alex Wickham walk, but strikeouts and a caught stealing ended the threat. In the bottom of the first, the Pacers scored a run on a 1-out single. USC Aiken scored in each inning, including a 3-run first.
In the FSU third, Amanda Anderson led off with a walk and advanced to second on a groundout. After an Erica Rodriguez infield single put runners on first and second with one out, Wickham got hit to load the bases. Two strikeouts followed to end the scoring threat.
Rebecca Polaschek pitched the entire game, going four innings and facing two batters in the fifth before the game ended due to run rule. She allowed seven earned run on nine hits and four walks while facing 26 hitters.
Game 5: Limestone
The Lady Broncos finished their time in South Carolina with a game in the cold against unbeaten Limestone. Unfortunately for FSU, Limestone started off strong, scoring six runs in the first inning.
After Limestone added a run in the top of the second, the Lady Broncos scratched across a run in the bottom half of the inning. Sierra Henderson-Holmes led off the inning with a double, advanced to third on a fielder's choice and scored on an Ivory Gladden bunt single.
Limestone tacked on four runs in both the third and the fifth inning.
FSU didn't have any hits outside of the two in the second inning, but Daniqua Taylor finished 0-for-1 and walked twice.
Zoe Howard and Rebecca Polaschek split the pitching duties.
Fayetteville State returns to action and begins conference play on February 15 in Raleigh. The Lady Broncos will take on Virginia Union at 11 am that day, followed by a contest against Bowie State at 1 pm. On February 16, they take on Lincoln (PA) at 1 pm.