The Florida A&M Lady Rattler’s softball team took their first plane trip of the season to Norfolk, Va., to take on the Spartans of Norfolk State. The Lady Rattler’s played a three game series. The Rattlers were 2-1 against the Spartans.
Game one of Saturday’s double-header fell to Norfolk State. The Rattlers jumped out to an early lead with an RBI hit by third basemen Melissa Oliphant and homeruns hit by Oliphant and first basemen Arianna Stewart.
“The game was under control but we kind of went in to cruise control. We were winning 3-0 in the sixth-inning, but dropped balls and mental errors extended the bottom of the inning and let Norfolk take the lead at 3-4,” said coach Goodart.
There were two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning when pitcher Amanda Reyes hit a batter with the bases loaded and gave up hits that led to RBIs for the Spartans.
The Lady Rattlers scored two more runs in the top of the seventh inning to regain the lead, but the Spartans responded with two scores of their own making the final score 5-6.
“I wasn’t too happy. I had high expectations and was disappointed in myself because I helped them get those extra runs. I took it as a learning experience,” said senior pitcher Amanda Reyes, about her performance in the first game.
Game two for the Lady Rattlers showed much more dominance. Catcher Courtney Harold had two RBI’s in the top of the second inning.
Norfolk State scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the third inning due to a wild pitch.
The scoring continued in the top of the fourth for Florida A&M with third basemen Melissa Oliphant, right fielder Arianna Stewart, and designated hitter Corrine Gordon all having RBIs. The Lady Rattlers rebounded in game two winning 6-1.
“They wanted to come out and make a point and say that they were not going to let that happen again,” Goodart said. “They came out fired up and ready to play.”
The final game of the series on Sunday saw the same outcome as game two of the Lady Rattlers’ double header, with the Florida A&M winning convincingly 12-0.
From the first inning the Lady Rattlers took control, with runs scored by leftfielder Jasmin Donaldson, centerfielder Tenisha Dixon and short stop Erika Garcia. Florida A&M was up 3-0.
The bottom of the second inning the Lady Rattlers still did not let up off the gas. Third basemen Melissa Oliphant had an RBI single. Tenisha Dixon scored on a fielding error by the Spartan defense. First basemen Shayla Clark rounded up Florida A&M’s scoring damage with an RBI single. After only two innings of play the Lady Rattlers stretched their lead to 6-0.
The fifth-inning was when the floodgates opened up and the Lady Rattlers got another six runs. Because of the mercy the game was called after five innings of play making the final score 12-0.
“We loss one and won two. The first game was a wake up call that we can’t take any game for granted,” said senior third basemen Melissa Oliphant. “We beat them mentally.”