NORFOLK, Va. (NSUSpartans.com) – The 2021 season came to an abrupt end for Norfolk State softball on Friday in the MEAC Tournament. The Spartans suffered a pair of losses to Morgan State, 3-2, and North Carolina Central, 5-2, at the NSU Softball Field.
A day after scoring 17 runs in their first game of the tournament, the Spartans could not get their offense on track in either contest on Friday. Morgan State had the early lead and did not let it go in the first game of the day, while North Carolina Central broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the seventh to advance to Saturday’s final.
Norfolk State ended its campaign 20-19 overall, the fifth winning record for the program in its Division I era.
The winner in the NSU-MSU game would go on to advance to the tournament final on Saturday without a blemish to its record. Morgan State did just that, limiting the Spartans to just five hits on the afternoon.
The Bears (23-15) led 2-0 after an RBI double in the first and a wild pitch in the third. NSU senior Jade Dixon’s RBI single in the fourth was followed by another RBI hit in the bottom of the inning for Morgan State, which still led by a pair of runs at 3-1.
Junior Brooke Bond’s solo homer in the top of the fifth again got the Spartans to within a run, but Stephanie Rundlett shut the door on NSU the rest of the way.
After entering the game in the fourth, Rundlett (11-7) got the win for Morgan State after striking out three and allowing just the one solo home run in 3.1 innings of work.
Sophomore Cam Andersen (7-5) gave up four hits and three earned runs in four innings with seven strikeouts for the Spartans.
NSU was still alive after that point, but in an elimination game to close out the day, the Eagles (13-30) rallied with those three runs in the sixth.
A solo homer in the first and a sac fly in the fifth put NCCU ahead 2-0. Then in the top of the sixth, sophomore Imani Moore reached on a bunt single, and senior Tuli Iosefa blasted a two-run shot to left field for her eighth home run of the year.
The 2-2 tie did not last long, however. The Eagles rallied with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Three straight hits made it 4-2, and a pair of walks loaded the bases. Another RBI single gave NCCU a three-run cushion before senior Jazzmaine Hammond made a nice catch in center to end the inning.
The Eagles then turned their second double play of the game to close out the seventh. Kiara Hurley (9-17) got the win after allowing two earned runs and nine hits in all seven innings.
Moore, Iosefa, Dixon and junior Gabby Vaughan each had two hits for the Spartans.