TALLAHASSEE, Fla (Mar. 23-24) – The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers (11-21, 3-0 MEAC) and North Carolina Central University Eagles (9-18, 0-3 MEAC) battled it out in FAMU’s home opening MEAC series. FAMU would sweep the series 3-2, 4-2 and 6-1.
In the first game, FAMU ace Kyaira Brown got the complete game win in the circle. She gave up seven hits en route to the win, striking out two in the process. The Rattler defense was able to leave five NCCU runners on base.
Tyra Bowers, Hera Varma and Brown each tallied a hit for the Rattlers. Varma scored two runs in the opener.
For NCCU, Aleyah Evans led all hitters with two, driving in two RBIs in the process. Jacobia Johnson, Olivia Daniel, Tamiera Sanchez, Madison Mifsud and Nadia Blevins each collected a hit in the game.
Kiara Hurley took the loss on the mound for NCCU. She gave up only three hits, walked one and struck out four. Four errors would eventually doom the Eagles’ fate in the 3-1 final.
In the second game, the Eagles would be outhit by the Rattlers eight to four. In a tightly contested game that only saw one error, FAMU jumped out with two runs un the bottom of the second. The score would stay there until the bottom of the fourth when the Lady Rattlers plated two more runs. The Eagles would draw closer in the top of the sixth with a two run spurt. From there the FAMU defense would stiffen and shut out the Eagles in the top of the seventh for the win.
Brandice Boatwright got the win in the circle for FAMU with a complete game. She walked just one batter while striking out five.
In the final game of the series, the Lady Rattlers fell behind in the top of the first as Dalika Wallace belted a solo shot over the left field wall. FAMU responded in the bottom fo the first, manufacturing two runs.
The score remained idle until the bottom of the fifth, when Alexis Day sparked a rally with an inside-the-park two-run homer that helped the Lady Rattlers put the game out of reach.
Day and Shakayla Nixon collected two hits each in the finale. Day accounted for two runs while Nixon scored one. Leadoff batter Tyra Bowers scored twice, collecting one hit.
For the Eagles, Olivia Daniel and Aleyah Evans each collected two hits in the loss. The Eagles Achilles heel was leaving seven runners stranded on base. Kiara Hurley took the loss for NCCU, going five innings, allowing six hits and getting five strikeouts. Claire Eosso pitched the final inning, allowing two hits in the six batters she faced.
Boatwright got the win for FAMU, with a seven-inning outing. She gave up nine hits, one run and allowed no walks.
Wiggins on the weekend series:
“This group is special and we’re just trying to get them where they need to be. They felt good and they responded to me in the locker room and where we are, we felt like we controlled all three games and that’s how you want to go into conference play. But, we’ve still got work to do. We’re not satisfied yet.”
On Alexis Day’s inside-the-park home run:
“She was riding wasn’t she? Alexis is a senior and she’s an outfielder that gives her all no matter what. Whether the result is good or bad, you know that she is giving her all, and that’s what I appreciate. I just love to see her run…she put that lean into it rounding those bases.”