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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lady Bulldogs Earn Hard Fought 7-6 and 9-8 Sweep of Elizabeth City State Lady Vikings

BOWIE, Md. - The Bowie State University softball team earned two hard fought CIAA Northern Division wins against visiting Elizabeth City State University, edging the Lady Vikings 9-8 and 7-6 on Saturday afternoon. With the wins, the Lady Bulldogs (13-15, 9-5 CIAA, 6-2 North) move into second place in the division.

Freshman Nicoleen Ochoa (Madison, Ohio) led Bowie State with five hits on the afternoon, including the game winner in game one. Sophomore Hailey Bethke (Havre de Grace, Md.) added four hits and four runs for the Lady Bulldogs in the doubleheader sweep.

Elizabeth City State (2-26, 2-12 CIAA, 0-8 North) was led by Haley Williams (Askewville, N.C.) with  team-highs of four hits and four runs in the losses. One of Williams’ hits was a two-run homerun in game one. Kiyana Merritt (San Francisco, Calif.) contributed four hits as well and scored three runs.

ECSU’s Williams tallied three hits in the opening game, while Merritt, Diamond Davis (Roper, N.C.) and Rachel Gilliken (Camden, N.C.) recorded two hits each. Overall, the Lady Vikings had 14 hits in the 9-8 opening game loss.

The Bowie State foursome of Ochoa, freshmen Emily Lewis (Aberdeen, Md.) and Hannah Willis (St. Leonard, Md.) and junior Deanna Matlock (Pomona, Calif.) accounted for a pair of hits each in game one to lead the team. Ochoa, Bowie State’s starting pitcher, stroked a single through the right side of the Elizabeth City State defense in the bottom of the 7th inning, pushing Willis across the plate for the winning run.

Game two of the doubleheader was just as exciting as game one. Bowie State held a 3-0 advantage after one inning only to have Elizabeth City State trim the Lady Bulldogs lead to 3-2 in the 2nd inning.

Bowie State’s Lady Bulldogs held a 4-2 lead after two innings of play before Elizabeth City State took their first and only lead at 5-4 in the top of the 3rd inning.

The Lady Bulldogs responded with one run in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 5-all.

Each team went scoreless in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Merritt hit a leadoff single in the top of the 7th inning and later scored to put Elizabeth City State in front by a score of 6-5.

Bowie State’s Lewis opened the bottom of the 7th with a pop up to the ECSU shortstop for the first out. Freshman Jacqueline Pickering (Bowie, Md.) stepped up a drilled a double to left center and Bethke followed with a single, scoring Pickering and tying the game at 6-all. Willis hit a single to third advancing Bethke to second. Matlock flew out to center for the second out of the critical 7th inning.  Senior Cassandra Clayborne (Damascus, Md.) laced a double to right center, pushing Bethke across the dish to give Lady Bulldogs the thrilling 7-6 victory in game two.

Bowie State pounded out a season-high 18 hits in the nightcap compared to nine for Elizabeth City State. Clayborne, Ochoa and Bethke had three hits each in game two to lead the Lady Bulldogs.

Caitlin O’Neill (Elkton, Md.) went the distance in the circle in game two, striking out six.

The Lady Bulldogs will host the division leading Hawks of Chowan University on Sunday (April 26th) beginning at 1 pm, weather permitting.

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