SALISBURY, N.C. (April 12) – Saint Augustine’s University displayed its hitting power in a softball doubleheader sweep of Livingstone College at the Jaycee Optimist Sports Complex on Thursday.
The Lady Falcons amassed 45 hits, including eight inside-the-park home runs, and 39 RBIs to rout the Lady Blue Bears 27-0 in the first game and 18-0 in the second game. Marley Parker (Sr./Langley, British Columbia) collected three home runs followed by five teammates – Jasmine Rios (Sr./Greensboro, NC), Tamiera Sanchez (So./Sacramento, CA), Haley Sessoms (So./Kenansville, NC), Mechelle Moss (Fr./Nassau, Bahamas) and Keighly Capron (Fr./Nassau, Bahamas) – with one apiece for the Lady Falcons, who remained atop the Southern Division standings at 4-0.
And it wasn’t just home runs they hit. The Lady Falcons tallied 12 doubles and eight triples in the twinbill, cementing their reputation as oneof the top slugging teams in the country. They entered Thursday ranked first in Division II in triples per game and sixth in doubles per game.
The trio of Rios, MaKayla August (So./Palm Springs, CA) and Akera McPhaul (Sr./Greensboro, NC) each had two triples and Moss produced three doubles. Rios and August also hit two doubles each for the Lady Falcons, 8-2 in the CIAA and 11-7 overall.
The Lady Falcons drove hits deep to open spaces on the spacious field, forcing the Livingstone outfielders to chase the ball near the fence. Meanwhile, the Lady Falcons ran the bases, often leading to scores on the hits.
Overshadowed by the hitting was superb pitching from August and Moss, who allowed three hits combined. In the first game, August fired a one-hitter with a season-high 11 strikeouts and two walks in five innings to improve to 7-4 as a pitcher. Moss followed up with a two-hitter with three strikeouts and no walks in the five-inning second game to up her pitching record to 2-1.
The Lady Falcons set the tone in the first game, scoring 15 runs in the first inning. Their 27 runs and 28 hits are season-highs, and as well as the nine doubles and seven triples in the contest. They compiled the most runs and hits since 2014 when they tied or surpassed Thursday’s totals several times including 31 runs and 35 hits against Voorhees College in a 31-3 victory.
Rios, who batted 5-for-5 with four RBIs and four runs scored, hit for the cycle against the Lady Blue Bears. She smacked a home run, triple, two doubles and a single. A player accomplishes a cycle when the batter gets a single, double, triple and home run in the same game.
McPhaul was 4-for-4 with two triples, a double, a single, five RBIs and three runs scored. Parker was 4-for-5 with two home runs, one triple, one single, four RBIs and three runs scored. Sanchez finished 4-for-5 with a homer, a double, two singles, three RBIs and four runs scored.
In the second game, the Lady Falcons scored all but one run in the first two frames, including 11 in the second inning, to put away the Lady Blue Bears, who remained winless in 16 games. The Lady Blue Bears dropped to 0-4 in the Southern Division and 0-9 in the CIAA.
Sessoms batted 3-for-3 with a home run, two singles, four RBIs and three runs scored. Parker was 2-for-2 with one home run, one double, three RBIs and three runs scored and Moss was 3-for-4 with one home run, one double, one single, three RBIs and three runs scored. Rios, tied with Moss for the second-most triples per game in Division II, added a triple in the contest and McPhaul batted 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
The Lady Falcons look to continue their offensive onslaught against archrival Shaw University in a key division doubleheader on Saturday, April 14, at Worthdale Park in Raleigh, N.C., at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Lady Falcons hold a one-game lead over Shaw (3-1) in the division standings.