FAMU Holds Off North Carolina A&T State, Advances To Championship Round
ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - Florida A&M moved to the championship round for the fourth consecutive year as they held off a tough North Carolina A&T State squad by a 6-5 margin on Friday evening.
After scoring only four runs over its past two games, Florida A&M broke out of its offensive slump with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the first highlighted by an error on a sacrifice bunt which brought home two runs. Alexis Day and Taylor Rosier also added RBIs to extend the Rattlers' lead. With one out in the second, FAMU tacked on another run via Denise Anderson's RBI groundout which scored Miesha McBride from third for a 5-0 advantage.
Like its games throughout the tournament, North Carolina A&T State would strike big late with a four-run fifth to claw back into the contest down 5-4. Nathaly Pacheco led the inning off with a leadoff double and was driven home by Stephanie Williams for the team's first run. Raven Gray chased out FAMU starter Tahlia Snider with an RBI double in addition to Kimberly Brunson's two-RBI single off reliever Veronica Burse.
Toni Anderson's RBI in the fifth gave FAMU a much-needed insurance run as they led 6-4 entering the sixth. Both teams went scoreless in the fifth but A&T made things interesting in the seventh on Brunson's RBI single. With two runners on and two outs, FAMU would get out the jam as Burse forced Pacheco to pop out for the game-ending play.
FAMU's Jamesia Stoudemire finished the game with a 3-for-4 outing while Anderson and McBride each had a pair of hits. Brunson led A&T with three RBIs and two hits while Gray logged two hits, two runs and an RBI.
Snider picked up the win for FAMU as she struck out five while Mohagony Headen was credited with the loss.
Florida A&M returns to the championship round for the fourth consecutive season as they'll have to defeat longtime nemesis Bethune-Cookman twice beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday. This marks the fourth straight season FAMU and B-CU will meet in the championship game.