TALLAHASSEE, FL (Mar. 29) – The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers (11-20, 4-0 MEAC) defeated the South Carolina State University (SCSU) Lady Bulldogs (1-13, 1-3 MEAC) in the opening game of their three-game series. FAMU was hitting on all cylinders in their MEAC home opener at the FAMU softball complex. In an unusual sight, FAMU was wearing purple. It was in honor of Lupus Awareness, which the game was marked to celebrate.
“My first assistant coach, Tonya Knight, who played for me and was a FAMU aluma, and she bled orange and green, died of Lupus and this is in dedication to her. One of our players’ moms has Lupus, so we took this opportunity to raise awareness,” FAMU head coach Veronica Wiggins said.
The Lady Rattlers were in full control from the start. The four-time reigning MEAC champs appeared to be reloading for another run in the conference. Two home run blasts and solid pitching signaled that Wiggins’ team is beginning to focus on the MEAC schedule
FAMU pitcher Kyaira Brown retired the Bulldogs in order in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Jada Lake led off reaching on an error. Shayla Boyd would put the ball in play and reach on an unsuccessful fielder’s choice. Taylor rosier drove in the first run of the game with a single. Toni Anderson brought the second run across the plate with a sacrifice fly to the outfield. Kyaira Brown singled through the infield to bring in Rosier.
SCSU would get their first runner on base in the top of the second on a FAMU error, but was unable to capitalize as Brown didn’t allow any other runners. SCSU pitcher Jada Lake settled down in the bottom of the second, retiring the Rattlers in order.
Lake would card the Lady Bulldogs’ first hit of the game in the top of the third inning, singling to right field. Bowers would hold the rest of the inning, stranding the runner. Toni Anderson laced a double to the wall, followed by an RBI double by Jamesia Stoudemire, bringing in Edrienne Williams, who was pinch running for Anderson. A runner’s interference call by Stoudemire heading to third base would end the third frame with FAMU taking a 4-0 lead.
Right fielder Alexis Day would extend the lead for the Rattlers in the fourth inning with a solo blast to straightaway centerfield. Rosier singled in Boyd for FAMU’s second score of the inning, making the margin 6-1. In the fifth inning Yuri Hampton got into the acting carding a two-run home
SCSU would get on the board in the top of the fifth. Freshman pitcher LeeAnn Hayes would give up two hits and eventually walk in the lone score. From there, the freshman from Wakulla High School would show her versatility in her FAMU debut, closing out the final three innings.
The Rattlers and Bulldogs will wrap up their series, tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 1PM at the Lady Rattler Softball Complex.