Missing key players and plagued by sloppy pitching, the Lady Aggies of North Carolina A&T lost twice to the Rattlerettes in a doubleheader Saturday 3-0, 19-1.
The Rattlerettes (20-20, 6-2 MEAC) shined both offensively and defensively in the first game. Senior pitcher Tenye Tasby threw a no-hitter, had no errors and struck out five batters.
“They play us competitively. Our job is to go out and play Rattlerette pride softball,” said Rattlerette head coach Veronica Wiggins.
Freshman right fielder Eria Williams led off the game for the Rattlerettes. She singled off a bunt and advanced to second base off a passed ball. Aja Robinson was second at the plate and struck out swinging. Freshman catcher Ruby Nugent hit a pop-up to Lady Aggie pitcher Cheretta Stevenson getting the first Rattlerette out.
Designated player Tiya Hines hit a home run into left field, bringing Williams home. At the end of the first inning, the Rattlerettes led the Lady Aggies 2-0.
In the second inning the Rattlerettes scored their third and final run of the first game. Freshman Nicole Campbell hit a foul to the right, caught by second baseman Courtney Artis. Third baseman Monique Mattingly was second at bat and hit a single that slid past Stevenson and Artis into center field. Junior second baseman Natalie Matthews reached first base on a fielder’s choice and Mattingly got out at second. Nkeese Reed hit a single into right center field and Matthews advanced to third. Williams reached first base on an error by Lady Aggie first baseman Latasha Ford as Matthews ran home.
The Rattlerettes dominated the Lady Aggies in the final innings of game one.
After the first game the Rattlerettes expressed their confidence. “We’re going to slaughter them in the next game,” Matthews said.
The Lady Aggies just hoped for offensive improvement. “We’re going to try to hit the ball so we can at least make their defense work,” said freshman catcher Sibol Loftin.
Second game action began in the second inning, when the Rattlerettes scored 13 runs off of five hits and four errors. Freshman Alexis Minus made the first run setting the pace for Scott, Mitchell and Robinson who each scored one run during the inning and Mobley, Dryer, Saunders and Washington who scored twice.
The Lady Aggies made one run, two hits, and no errors in the second inning.
The third inning looked a lot like the second. It was characterized by Rattlerette dominance: four runs off of two hits and no errors.
Pitcher Javetta Dryer hit a double into left field and brought Mobley home for the first run.
Dryer advanced to third off a wild pitch and third baseman Ve’Lori Dickey walked to first base. After Dickey stole second base, second baseman Kimberly Saunders hit double into left center field bringing home Dickey and Dryer home. Freshman left fielder Oni Washington also scored during the third inning.
Dickey and Dryer scored again in the fourth inning and the game ended after the first half of the fifth inning.
At the end of the second game, head coach of the Lady Aggies, Mamie Jones, emphasized that her team did not play to the best of its ability.
” Half of my team is not here, so we can play more competitively than we did,” Jones said. ” With my best players we will be able to compete with any team in the conference.”
The Lady Aggies have four wins for the season and are winless in conference play.