A&T Softball earns overtime victory over Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. – North Carolina A&T and the College of Charleston competed in a softball marathon on Saturday, with the Aggies claiming a 9-8, 9-inning victory over the Cougars at Patriots Point.

It took the Aggies 167 minutes to improve to 10-31 overall and 4-16 in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA). Charleston fell to 9-31 overall and 3-17 in league play. Each team has won a one-run ball game in the series. The two teams will determine the winner of the series on Sunday with an 11 a.m. start from Patriots Point.

The game went into extra innings tied at 7-7 after the Cougars left a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh inning against A&T’s graduate reliever. Kayla Douglas (W, 2-7). Douglas did run into trouble in the eighth of Charleston, when Mia Dittoe and Shealyn Starks hit back-to-back singles with one out. But Douglas got Savannah Lockhart to fly out, and she took out Sierra Paradis.

After getting out of the eighth, A&T opened the ninth with a single up the middle from the sophomore catcher Camryn Caldwell. Charleston reliever Kelly McKenna (L, 3-12) put runners on first and second base with one out after hitting senior Alyxx Estrada with a pitch. Sophomore Katriel Williams moved both runners into scoring position by hitting a grounder to first base.

Junior Joey Barkhimer delivered for the Aggies with a single to center field. Caldwell scored on the play, and a throwing error from center field Kaytlin Stacey allowed Estrada to score and give the Aggies a 9-7 lead. The Aggies had a chance to do more damage as freshmen Jamari Mos and graduation Brenay Howard ran to load the bases.

But freshmen Trinity Glover hit a grounder to send the game into the ninth inning. Brooke Marquez hit a one-out single off Douglas, and one batter later she scored on an RBI double by Stacey, bringing the Cougars within one, 9-8. But with the starting signal on the plate in Aniz Roman. Roman made an error to left field to secure the win for A&T.

Freshman Shandi Brown went 2-for-4 for the Aggies. Estrada scored three times, and Glover drove in two runs.

Estrada scored the game’s first run in the first inning on an error, before an RBI sacrifice fly by Moss gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead. A bases loaded walk by A&T starter Amaya Kearse helped the Cougars cut the lead to 2-1. A Halle Cannon home run in the second Charleston helped the Cougars tie the game at 2-2 before the Aggies put together a huge third off Charleston starter Payton Lemire.

Estrada walked to open the inning. Williams followed with a single, after which a groundout by Barkhimer put both runners in scoring position. Moss brought home Estrada to give the Aggies a 3-2 lead. Howard walked to load the bases before a wild pitch by Lemire allowed Williams to score. Glover stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run single to left center to give the Aggies a 6-2 lead.

After the Glover single, the Cougars put Kelly in the circle, and Brown welcomed her with an RBI double to left field to score Glover for a five-run A&T advantage. Charleston responded with a five-run sixth when Cannon hit a three-run homer, and Lockhart secured a two-run single, tying the game at 7-7 and eventually sending the innings into extra innings.

Cannon had four RBIs for the Cougars.