FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (April 22) – Saint Augustine’s University’s chances of making the CIAA Championship Softball Tournament took a hit when the Lady Falcons fell 8-2 and 4-3 to Fayetteville State University at Lamon Street Park on Monday.
An SAU sweep would have clinched a tournament berth for the Lady Falcons, who entered the twinbill fourth in the Southern Division with a two-game lead over the Broncos. Eight teams – the top four in the Northern and Southern Divisions – advance to the CIAA Championship Tournament, which will be held April 29 through May 1 in Salem, Va.
Instead, the Broncos moved into a fourth-place tie in the division at 4-6. They hold a two-game lead (7-9) over the Lady Falcons (5-11) in the CIAA standings with two regular-season games left for both teams.
The Lady Falcons end the regular season Friday, April 26, in Winston-Salem, N.C., against Winston-Salem State University, second in the Southern Division. The Broncos finish on the road Wednesday, April 24, against winless Livingstone College, seventh in the division.
The day started promising for the Lady Falcons against the Broncos. Haley Sessoms (Jr./Kenansville, NC) homered over the left centerfield fence for an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Broncos responded with four runs in the second inning and two in the third for a 6-1 lead. A bases-loaded walk to Makayla August (Jr./Palm Springs, CA) in the fifth sliced the score to 6-2, but the Broncos added a run in the fifth and sixth innings for the final score.
SAU finished with three hits in the first game while the Broncos collected eight. August took the loss for the Lady Falcons despite yielding only two earned runs. The Lady Falcons hurt themselves with four errors to two for the Broncos.
The Lady Falcons were in position to gain a split in the second game. They led 1-0 in the first inning on an error and 2-1 in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Gia Minnis (Fr./Nassau, Bahamas). Sessoms gave the Lady Falcons their final lead at 3-2 on an RBI single in the fifth, but the Broncos scored a run in the fifth and sixth innings for a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, the Lady Falcons loaded the bases with one out but the Broncos recorded a strikeout for the second out. August, the next batter, smacked a line drive which appeared to be a hit but was caught by the FSU second baseman for the final out.
August pitched outstanding in the loss, firing a three-hitter in six innings. Errors were the culprit again for the Lady Falcons, who committed five. The Broncos erred four times and gave up seven hits, including a double to August, who also doubled in the first game.
The game against Winston-Salem State is at Twin City Field on Friday. Game times are 1 p.m. and approximately 3 p.m.
-Office of Sports Information