NORFOLK, Va. – Morgan State scored three runs in the fifth and added another four runs in the sixth to clinch the program’s first MEAC softball championship with a 10-5 win over North Carolina Central on Saturday at the NSU Softball Field on the campus of Norfolk State University.
Aliya Ewell led the way for the Bears by going 3-for-3 at the plate sitting just a home run away from completing the cycle. She also scored three runs and drive in a run for the Bears, who earn the MEAC’s automatic NCAA bid.
The 64-team NCAA field will be revealed on Sunday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.
North Carolina Central (13-31) got on the board first on Saturday, when J. Doumas hit a solo home run to get the Eagles on the board. Hailey Batista added a solo blast of her own in the third to put the Eagles up 2-0.
Morgan State (24-15) would then take a 3-2 lead on a three-run home run from Melissa Paz that scored Haylee Bobos and Ewell. The home run was Paz’s second of the weekend and season.
NCCU answered two innings later when Olivia Daniel singled to right-center to score Jaden Musgrove and Nadia Blevins to give the Eagles a 4-3 lead.
The Bears answered back by scoring three runs in the bottom of the frame. Ewell got it started with a triple down the right-field line to score Kyley Fijalkowski; Ewell later scored on a fielding error and Damishah Charles picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Ellen Ebbers.
Morgan State sealed the deal in the sixth, adding four more runs due to some miscues the Eagles. Fijalkowski scored on a dropped fly ball and Ewell scored off a single by Sarah Tuzinski. Jalian Young drove in two runs after a single to right field that scored Bobos and Ebbers to give the Bears a 10-4 lead.
NCCU added a run in the seventh when K’Lea Parks drove in Daniel off a double to center field.
Stephanie Rundlett, the tournament’s Outstanding Performer, picked up her third win of the weekend to move to 12-7 in the circle.
Larry Hineline of Morgan State was named Outstanding Coach.
Outstanding Performer: Stephanie Rundlett, Morgan State
Outstanding Coach: Larry Hineline, Morgan State
2021 MEAC All-Tournament Team
Tuli Iosefa, Norfolk State
Imani Moore, Norfolk State
Yrral Davis, Norfolk State
Imara Harrell, North Carolina Central
Hailey Batista, North Carolina Central
Joirea Dumas, North Carolina Central
Kiara Hurley, North Carolina Central
Haylee Bobos, Morgan State
Stephanie Rundlett, Morgan State
Melissa Paz, Morgan State
Aliya Ewell, Morgan State