March 10, 2014
ETTRICK, VA - After earning a victory against Elizabeth City State earlier in the day, the Fayetteville State softball team fell short of sweeping a CIAA doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. The Lady Broncos' seventh-inning rally fell just short in a 3-2 loss against Virginia State at the Trojans' softball field.
Kyrin Walker (Carthage, NC) pitched six solid innings for FSU (1-10), which was the designated home team. Zoe Howard (Hampstead, NC) pitched one shutout inning in relief.
After each team went down in order in the first inning, the Trojans scratched across the game's first run in the top of the second. A double followed by a sacrifice bunt and a single made it 1-0.
FSU got a runner in scoring position in its half of the second. But after Erica Rodriguez (Charlotte, NC) reached on an error and Rebekah Reep (Fayetteville, NC) earned a two-out walk, VSU pitcher Jessica Mattia coaxed a groundout off the bat of Brittany Freeman (Fayetteville, NC) to end the inning.
Neither team scored in the third, but the Trojans plated a single run in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, VSU got a pair of two-out hits from Logan Tollison and Janay Joseph to make it 2-0. In the fifth, Cameryn Smith stole home to stretch the lead to 3-0.
After neither team scored in the sixth inning, Howard entered the game in the seventh. The Trojans loaded the bases with one out, but Howard made the pitches she needed to when she absolutely had to. She struck out Tollison and Joseph to escape the frame damage-free.
The Lady Broncos rallied for a pair of runs in the seventh but couldn't get the tying run home. Howard led off the inning with an infield single. After a pop out, Sierra Henderson-Holmes (Olivia, NC) singled to right field, advancing Howard to second. Jessica Randolph (Pinetops, NC) was sent in to pinch hit for Reep, a move that paid immediate dividends. Randolph doubled to right, plating Henderson-Holmes and Howard. But Mattia was able to preserve the win for the Trojans, inducing a fly out from Amanda Anderson (Hope Mills, NC) and a strikeout by Lashanda Washington (Hope Mills, NC).
Mattia carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished the game with just four hits allowed. For FSU, Walker and Howard did a solid job of damage control, working around 12 Trojans hits and three Lady Broncos errors. Neither FSU pitcher walked a batter. Walker finished with three strikeouts in her six innings of work and Howard fanned two in her lone inning.
The Lady Broncos wrap up the weekend with a game against Chowan on Monday at 11 am.