Courtesy of Norfolk State University Athletics
L: ANDERSEN,Cam (0-1)
Seniors Gabby Vaughan and Lily Potter each hit a double in the final game of the NSU-Hampton Classic but it was not enough as the Norfolk State softball dropped the contest, 3-2, to Hampton on the NSU Softball Field on Sunday.
The Lady Pirates scored the game’s first run in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly out to right field that scored the leadoff runner. In the second inning, freshman Kenna Higasingled up the middle with one out before Potter hit her double to advance Higa to third base. However, the next to batter grounded out to end the inning with HU leading 1-0.
In the top of the third the leadoff batter swung on a wild pitch for strike three but was able to beat the throw down to first base. A timely throw by freshman catcher Rylie Gilbreath to junior shortstop Morgan Johnson to catch Tierra Washington trying to steal second base. After HU drew a walk with two outs, the Lady Pirates were able to hit a pitch over the left center field fence to push the lead to three.
Neither team was able to push another run across the plate until the bottom of the sixth inning. NSU got things started when redshirt senior Tuli Iosefa single through the left side and freshman Victoria Ruiz pinch ran for the designated player at first base.
After the Lady Pirates got a strike out, the HU catcher had a misthrow in a failed pick-off attempt on Ruiz at first that went down the right field line. Ruiz was able to take advantage and ran all the way to home plate, beating the throw by the right fielder. Potter followed it up with a single to left field with just one out. A bobbled ball by Mo’ne Davis at shortstop allowed Gilbreath to reach first base with Potter reaching second. An RBI single by redshirt sophomore Yrral Davis to right center allowed Potter to score from second and Gilbreath to reach third with just one out.
A throw home to get the second out and a ground out to Davis ended the sixth inning with the Spartans pulling within one heading into the seventh. HU went four up and three down in the top half of the seventh. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Vaughan had her double to the warning track in center field. After a groundout to the shortstop, a low ball was called on strike three that the catcher dropped and tagged out Higa while standing in the batter box for the final out of the game.
Over the course the Spartans five games, Iosefa led NSU with five hits on a .385 batting average. Higa, who made several diving catches at third bases hit .308, four hits with a double and a home run, the later on her first collegiate at bat, and has a slugging percentage of .615. Junior Alexis Robinson went 2-0 from the circle pitching 8.1 innings with seven strikeouts.
The Spartans (3-2) will stay in the Tidewater area next weekend when they travel to Hampton for the HU Classic on Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, Feb. 20. NSU will play against St. Bonaventure both days at 9 a.m. along with a pair of games against Central Connecticut State both days at 1 p.m.