FAMU softball takes one against the University of North Florida

The Florida A&M softball team battled in-state rivals, the University of North Florida Ospreys, to win one of the two double-header games on Saturday at the Lady Rattler Complex.In the first game, Florida A&M got off to a good start by scoring the game’s first run in the first inning as outfielder Tara Vincent sprinted home after an RBI double from senior Melissa Oliphant. North Florida scored its only run in the fourth inning. In the sixth inning, Florida A&M applied pressure to the Ospreys play and secured a run giving them the 2-1 lead thanks to a bunt by senior Joyce Harold. The Rattlers were able to pick up the victory defeating the University of North Florida 2-1 in the seventh inning earning another win for senior pitcher Amanda Reyes. Reyes durability enabled her to play all seven innings recording three strikeouts and out-pitching the two North Florida pitchers Shaina Dent and Devyn Findley. Reyes’ pitching contributed to Florida A&M’s victory earning the veteran a (3-3) record as the team’s top pitcher.“We had already played North Florida once, so coming back playing them again we wanted to show them that we were going to be a better team,” said Reyes. “We wanted to show North Florida that we were ready to win, when you know your team is playing behind you and they are going to make great plays, it gives you confidence as a pitcher and you are able to go after a batter more aggressively.”In the second game the University of North Florida’s shortstop, Brittanie Block, scored the first fun in the fourth inning. In the sixth inning senior Melissa Oliphant hit a single to center field allowing sophomore Tenisha Dixson to score the first run for the Rattlers tying the game.The game went into overtime and the University of North Florida was able to score a run after their pitcher doubled to left center field in the ninth inning. The Rattlers were unable to put the ball into play which prevented them from scoring but, a slide to home plate by pitcher Amanda Reyes led to a dramatic call by the umpire ruling Reyes out, leading to a 2-1 North Florida win.“You want to execute, you want to get the game winning hit and sometimes you do come up short, it’s just part of the game,” said Oliphant. “At the same time, we came out here and played great today and UNF gave us a great fight. We learn from this and we move on.”Florida A&M head coach Veronica Wiggins said their two games gave the team some insight on its progress and techniques they plan on perfecting in practice and throughout the season.“It’s early so we except the challenge and this gives us an idea of what we have to work on,” Wiggins said. “We definitely have to work on executing bunts and that hurt us today.”Splitting one of the two games in this weekend’s double header gave Florida A&M a (5-5) winning record as they look to carry their energy March 5-7 into the Florida Atlantic University Tourney in Boca Raton.