Explosive innings lead to season-opening losses for Rattlers

Head Coach Camise Patterson talks to her team before the game. Photo Courtesy: Ashley Bryant

The Texas Tech Red Raiders scored 15 runs in two innings to sweep the Florida A&M softball team in their season opener.

The Rattlers fell 11-1 in the first game after an eight-run sixth inning blew open a 3-1 ballgame. Texas Tech jumped on the Rattlers early in the second game, scoring seven runs in the second inning to erase a 2-0 lead and position themselves for an opening-day sweep.

Following the game, FAMU coach Camise Patterson was not worried about the losses, saying that these first few days were an opportunity to see where players fit regarding defensive positioning.

Grad student Nyah Morgan began the series as the catcher for the Rattlers. Freshman Tiana Davis then got the start behind the dish in Game Two before Morgan replaced her in the third inning. Junior transfer Tatianna Davis also got her first start at shortstop on Friday.

Following some defensive miscues in the second inning, Patterson said that she had conversations with her players

We had a lot of conversations,Patterson said. We talked through some different things, and we talked through some different defensive looks.

The Rattlers were able to stifle TTUs offense and turn their first double play of the season after the second inning until the Red Raiders tacked on two more runs in the fifth. Patterson also said the Red Raiders offense, which hit six doubles and mashed two home runs in the first game, put pressure on the Rattlers defense.

Texas Tech is a great hitting team,Patterson said. And when you hit well, you tend to put pressure on the defense, and they did their job today.

Patterson says that freshman pitcher Zoryana Hughes is also OK after an incident in the sixth inning and will undergo concussion protocol Saturday morning to determine whether she will be available for the rest of the weekend. Patterson said that while her pitchers mask was bent and she had a small cut under her eye, Hughes wanted to get back into the game.

Shes [Hughes] great,Patterson said. She was more upset that she didnt get to finish the game than anything.

The two-game slate against TTU also marked the first time the softball team opened their season at home since 2015. Patterson says she was amazed at the turnout for the game, and believed that the large FAMU crowd gave herteam confidence during the game, and that her players felt the Tallahassee community was behind them.

It was amazing to look in the stands and see that there was not a single seat available,Patterson said. We have people standing beside the stands, people standing on the sidelines, and, of course, people sitting on the hill, so that really gave our team energy.

Patterson said it was important that FAMU open future seasons at the university softball complex.

Hopefully next year and the years to come, we are able to open up at home some more,Patterson said.

Centerfielder Nyomi Jones makes a diving catch during Game Two Photo Courtesy: Ashley Bryant

Looking ahead to Saturday, Patterson says that she wants to make sure her team minimizes where the opposing team scores several runs, and through looking at film, identify where breakdowns during the game occurred to where TTU could score several runs at once.

The less runs they score in a single inning, the better off well be,Patterson said. We can always work from behind if we need to, but when we have people scoring five and six and seven and eight runs in an inning, its very hard and it takes a toll on the team.

FAMU is headed to Joanne Graff field on Saturday to take on the womens College World Series runner-up, the Florida State Seminoles, and the University of Charlotte. Charlotte upset FSU in their home opener on Thursday with a 6-5 win. FSU then proceeded to shut out Charlotte on Friday with an 11-0 victory.

The action starts for the Rattlers at 3 p.m.