ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (May 9) - The Florida A&M Softball team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament as the Lady Rattlers defeated Delaware State, 8-6 in the opening round, here Thursday afternoon at the Ormond Beach Softball Complex.
FAMU (20-30) tallied four hits in the contest as four Lady Rattlers finished with one hit each.
FAMU assistant coach Lori Goodart felt the Rattlers must focus even more to get through the tournament with the desired results. “Delaware State is an excellent hitting team. They stayed in there. Jennifer did a good job of coming in and shutting it down. Being that it’s the MEAC tournament, you have no time to stop. You’ve got to just keep going because teams are going to fight all the way to the last out,” Goodart said.
DSU (20-34) finished the contest with a game-high 11 hits with Nicole Gazzolla finishing with a team-high three hits, followed by Rochelle Sablay and Miranda Pedersen with two each.
Ashleigh Minter (6-11) picked up the win for the Lady Rattlers as she pitched three and two-third innings, allowing eight hits, two earned runs and two walks in the 22 batters she faced. Jennifer Lindsey (1) earned her first save of the season as she pitched three and one-third innings in relief, allowing three hits, two earned runs and striking out three in the 16 batters she faced.
Rachel Meagley (6-15) got the loss for the Lady Hornets as she pitched six innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs and striking out four in the 34 batters she faced.
DSU jumped out to 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as both Gazzolla and Chole Oro scored on a Sablay double to right field.
The Lady Rattlers would regain the lead in the bottom of the first inning and never relinquish it as both Brielle Gordon and Ashanti Shepherd scored on a Myrick single to right field, followed by a Lady Hornet error scoring both Robbielyn Roberson and Myrick. Tikeya Strong would score on a wild pitch, giving the Lady Rattlers, a 5-2 lead.
FAMU added to their lead in the bottom of the third inning as Bianca Torres, pinch-running for genesis Lopez, scored on a DSU fielding error, followed by a Christina Robbs ground out to scoring Alyssa Weaver while Strong stole home, giving the Lady Rattlers, an 8-2 lead.
Lindsey is looking for ward to the team progressing as the tournament does. “My mindset coming into the game was pretty much to play for outs…to get outs for my team so we could secure the victory for our team. We’ve got to have energy to beat these teams, because they come out with heart,” Lindsey said.
DSU would score two runs in the top of the fourth as Miranda Pedersen scored on a FAMU error, followed by a Sablay single to right center scoring Gazzolla, cutting FAMU’s lead to 8-4.
The Lady Hornets would plate two runs in the top of the sixth inning for the 8-6 finale.
With the win, FAMU will face Hampton University in the quarterfinal round at 7 p.m., while Delaware State moves into the loser’s bracket and will face North Carolina A&T in a 4:30 p.m. elimination game.