2018 Softball Championship Tournament: Day Two Recaps
Prairie View A&M 4, Mississippi Valley 3
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Prairie View A&M (15-21) staved off a late comeback attempt by Mississippi Valley, advancing in the 2018 SWAC Softball Tournament with a 4-3 win.
The loss ends the season for the Devilettes (14-31).
After a quick 1-2-3 first inning for Prairie View, the Lady Panthers got on the board after Keona Hunter singled and stole second. Hunter advanced to third during a fly out, and scored on a RBI groundout by Gabrielle Foncesa.
Prairie View threatened in the second, with back-to-back singles by Laurisa Hernandez and Alyssa Garcia. Kylar Ward-Flowers moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt, and Hernandez beat the tag at home following an Amanda Ford sacrifice bunt. Shelby Williams drew a walk to load the bags, and Garcia scored on a Hunter sac fly.
In the third, the Lady Panthers continued to find the gaps, as Kelsey Coronado and Hernandez each picked up base hits to start the inning. Ward-Flowers singled to left center to bring Coronado home for another run.
Mississsippi Valley created a chance with a single by Jodeci Afoa-Tuia and a standup double from Dejanae Gage. Afoa-Tuia scored on a Sharia Cormier sac fly. Gage moved to third on a wild pitch and she scored on another wild pitch but Prairie View escaped the inning by tagging out DeShonte Smith.
The Devilettes continued to press forward in the fourth, as Kennedy Lester drew Mississippi Valley within one with a RBI single that prompted Ashley Higgins to come on in relief of PVAMU starter Vannessa Castro. Higgins immediately retired the side to end the inning, and shut down the Devilettes' offense from there.
Hernandez and Hunter each had a pair of hits. Castro earned the win with 4.0 innings of work, scattering six hits and three runs. Gage went 2-for-3.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 9, Alcorn State 3
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Aided by Alcorn State errors, Arkansas-Pine Bluff used a big third inning to upend the Lady Braves in the 2018 SWAC Softball Tournament by a score of 9-3.
The loss brings an end to Alcorn State's (14-35) season.
In the bottom of the second, Alcorn struck first after Robin Harrison and Alicia Hill dropped consecutive flare singles into shallow right. Harrison scored after UAPB's Kayla Ross airmailed a potential put-out of Malea Dickerson following a sacrifice bunt.
The Lady Braves charged ahead with another run as Ashley Arnold delivered a RBI groundout that scored Hill, and Ambria Dorsey scored Dickerson on a RBI sac fly to give Alcorn a 3-0 advantage.
UAPB (17-27) responded quickly as Tonnay Hawkins slapped a single and moved to second on a passed ball before scoring on a Ta'Lyn Moody RBI single. After Arnold mishandled a deep fly ball by UAPB's Dominique Humphrey that led to runners on second and third, and Alexandria Taylor drew a walk, Kameron Graham drew a free pass to bring home Moody.
Kayla Ross then slapped a single to left, and Nikolao got a single past first for another run. The Lady Lions continued to pour it on, ultimately capitalizing on three Alcorn gaffes in the frame to take control for good. Amari Ramsey sent a two-run shot out of the park in the bottom of the seventh to bring Alcorn a little closer, but it was too little, too late.
Moody went 4-for-5 with two RBI, and Hawkins was 3-for-5 with a run scored. Juliana Dominguez earned the win with a workman-like effort, allowing seven hits and five runs -- three earned -- in a complete game effort.
Texas Southern 8, Alabama A&M 7
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Texas Southern moved ahead in the winner's bracket in walk-off fashion, prevailing 8-7 over Alabama A&M during the 2018 SWAC Softball Tournament.
Down 7-6, Texas Southern (24-16-1), Alyssa Garcia tied the game with a RBI single to score pinch-runner Terren Vinson. Zariah Robins then dropped a bunt, forcing a fielder's choice that Madi Marek capitalized on for the winning run.
Alabama A&M (22-20) found success early on against Texas Southern's Lauren Rodriguez, as Alexis Bates dropped a single into shallow left to score Tamia-Lee Barbadillo, who led off with a single.
Texas Southern responded in the bottom of the second as Madi Marek brought home Julia Bilbao with a double to deep left center and tied the game.
Alabama A&M managed to chase Rodriguez after she walked Jessica Alferos and Danielle Hansell, and Lauren Walker singled home Alferos. Reliever Tyra Williams came on, but an errant throw during a fielder's choice allowed Danielle Hansell to score. Tiana Sanders followed with a two-run single, and though TSU got a force out at home, Bates found a gap in left with a RBI single in the next at-bat, plating Sanders.
After Sierra Valdez was plunked, Bilbao smacked a Lauren Hayden pitch over the right-field wall to give TSU some life. Marek drew a free pass, and A'Leecia Bell sent a Hayden offering to the wall for a RBI double that brought home Marek and drew the Lady Tigers within two.
The Lady Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, when Alyssa Garcia picked up a two-out single, and Danielle Sonnier followed with a base hit, during which Garcia moved to third thanks to an error in centerfield. Pinch-runner Zariah Robins then stole second and a failed throw-out attempt allowed Garcia to score. Robins then scored on a wild pitch as she ducked underneath a Hayden tag attempt. AAMU would add another run in the top of the seventh.
Ebony Wiltz and Garcia each had a pair of hits. Tyra Williams earned the win with 3.2 innings of relief work, scattering five hits. Imani Largin took the loss, allowing the winning run in relief of Lauren Hayden. AAMU's Danielle Hansell went 3-for-3, and Sanders and Bates each had two hits and two RBI.
Alabama State 7, Southern 2
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama State (22-29) took down Southern 7-2 to advance in the winner's bracket of the 2018 SWAC Softball Tournament.
With the win, the Lady Hornets face Texas Southern for a spot in the tournament championship. The Jaguars (17-22) fall to the loser's bracket.
The Lady Hornets were gifted an early run thanks to a Kaylee Davis walk and a trifecta of wild pitches that advanced her around the bases. The advantage was short-lived as Southern's Kiara Suttles ripped a stand-up double to centerfield and scored on a RBI single by Jazmine Dukes in the top of the third. Dukes ultimately advanced to third on the ensuing erroneous throw home and later scored on a wild pitch.
Alabama State responded in its turn at bat, as Jordan Amerson (3-for-3) doubled to left to start a rally. Pinch-runner Kaitlyn Kilner came on, and after a Davis bunt single put runners at the corners, Hatty Shope singled home Kilner to tie the game and moved to second via error. The Lady Hornets reclaimed the lead when Charlene Castro plated Davis with a RBI single, and Kristin Gunter singled to score Shope.
In the bottom of the fifth, Alabama State was able to chase Southern's Aubrion James, who came on in relief during the first. Casey Durham led off with a single and later nabbed second base. After an Amira James base hit, Makayla Burt then added to the Lady Hornets' advantage with a single that just got away from the infield that brought Durham home. Burt touched up home plate after a mishandled grounder from Aimee Felicies to the second baseman.
Amerson singled to score James, and a throwing misfire from second put Amerson and Felicies in scoring position, but Tiara Scott was able to escape the jam for Southern and put a halt to the damage.
However, Southern was unable to get much of anything done against starter Lady Hornets' starter Justine Jean, who clamed up the Jaguars' bats through the rest of the game. Jean earned the win with a complete game effort, allowing five hits and one earned run with four strikeouts.