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Softball: University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Hawks Top North Carolina Central for Two Wins Sunday

Eastern Shore Has Won Six of Their Last Seven

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland — After suffering a tough defeat a day ago, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball team bounced back to grab two conference wins over the North Carolina Central University Eagles on Sunday (March 27). 

Hawks Top North Carolina Central for Two Wins Sunday

They won the first game 7-6, which was a continuation of a suspended game from Saturday, and grabbed a 9-5 victory in the game scheduled for today.

“The team came out with a chip on their shoulder after the loss on Saturday. We knew we were the better team, we just needed to focus on limiting our walks and hit-by-pitches,” head coach Karla Powell said. “We had 12 on Saturday which hindered our chances of winning, but today was a new day and our staff stepped up the challenge and kept them on their toes.”

The day began in the top of the sixth inning from the two team’s game from yesterday. The game was suspended with the game sitting tied at six.

Eastern Shore (8-18, 5-1 MEAC) held the Eagles scoreless in the top of the sixth. The Shore then had two quick outs before junior Tyanna Roberts came to the plate. She beat out a ball hit to third base to put the go-ahead run on base. She would steal second base to get into scoring position.

Sophomore Julia Garcia would deliver the kill shot on the next at-bat as she hit a double up the middle to score Roberts. The Hawks were ahead 7-6 at that point. 

Graduate student Nasya Goodman would sit the Eagles down in order in the top of the seventh punctuated by a strikeout to end the game and secure the victory. She picked up her fifth win of the season in the game and tied her season-best for wins in a season as a Hawk.

Sophomore Tatum Kresley was 3-4 with two runs in the game, while Roberts went 3-4 with an RBI and run scored.

The Eagles got out to an early lead in the second game of the day as they scored two runs in the top of the first. Eastern Shore got one run back in the bottom of the frame.

Roberts drew a one-out walk to give the squad their first base runner of the game. She would steal second base and Garcia then singled to put runners on first and second. Sophomore Kelsie Ekstrom was the next batter and she hit a single up the middle to score Roberts and put the Hawks on the board.

North Carolina Central got another run in the second inning to lead 3-1. The Shore would get their second run of the game an inning later courtesy of a bloop single to right field off the bat of freshman Rebecca Miller to score Kresley.

One inning later, Maryland Eastern Shore would take the lead as they scored four runs in the fourth. Graduate student Kaylyn Sterling doubled down the left-field line to begin the inning.

An error would get Sterling over to the third base and put freshman McKenzie Abiley at first. Abiley would steal second to get the go-ahead run into scoring position. Sophomore Ah-Nayia Oglesby came up to bat next and singled up the middle to score Sterling and Abiley to put the Hawks in front 4-3. 

Following a pitching change by the Eagles, Kresley bunted to get a single and used smart base running to advance to second as Oglesby stood on third. Garcia would hit an RBI groundout to the shortstop and bring Oglesby across home plate. Kresley would score off an error during Ekstrom’s at-bat to make the score 6-3 after four innings.

The Shore held that lead until the bottom of the sixth inning when they would tack on three more runs. The first run came off an RBI single by Ekstrom to score Kresley. 

Miller then laid down a successful suicide squeeze bunt to score Roberts. Freshman Kylee Lehman was the next batter and she singled to left field to bring Ekstrom across home plate and the score stood at 9-3 in favor of Eastern Shore.

NCCU got the first two batters on base in the seventh to force a pitching change for the Hawks. Sophomore Ameenah Ballenger would come on in relief and get the final three outs and give the team their second win of the day.

Lehman came in the game as a relief pitcher and got her first win of the season. She pitched 5.1 innings and allowed just one earned run and struck out four batters. Eastern Shore also walked only three batters as a team on the day after having trouble in that department against the Eagles on Saturday.

Kresley went 3-4 for the second straight game at the plate. She also scored three runs in the game and is in the midst of a seven-game hit streak. Ekstrom, Miller, and Oglesby all had two RBI for the Hawks.

After winning the games on Sunday, the Hawks have been victorious in six of their last seven games. The wins also got the squad their second straight conference series win as they sit atop the MEAC standings along with Morgan State.

“We have been preaching to our players that we hold our own fate, not only in the conference but the rest of the season,” Powell said. “There is no team that can beat us unless we let them. We are a team of competitors and every single person has a role.”

Eastern Shore will be back in action on Wednesday (March 30) as they face Hampton for a doubleheader. The games will be at home and they will begin at 1 p.m.

For more information on Eastern Shore Athletics visit http://www.easternshorehawks.com/.

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