Norfolk State sweeps doubleheader, hits five home runs in Game 2
NORFOLK, Va. -- Norfolk State ran its win streak to seven with another dominating offensive performance on Monday afternoon against Howard at the NSU Softball Field. The Spartans tallied 32 hits during a doubleheader sweep of the Bison, 13-1 and 18-1.
NSU ran its MEAC record to 5-0, and its overall mark to 11-13, thanks to an offense that produced double-digit hits for the sixth game in a row. The Spartans hit five homers in the second game, including one of the inside-the-park variety from freshman Devon Bitler.
Norfolk State already has 25 home runs this season, tying the 2006 and '13 teams for the most in the DI era as well. The overall fastpitch record is 35 set in 1997.
NSU has now won seven in a row and eight out of its past nine.
Freshman Kayla McNair had a solid outing in Game 2, going 4-for-5 with three runs and six RBI. Bitler finished 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBI, while the duo of sophomore Heather Dunning and senior Morgan Boyd hit a combined 7-for-8 with six runs and two RBI in the second game.
Senior Jamie Schulle (9-5) pitched a pair of five-inning gems, giving up a combined eight hits and two earned runs with just one walk during the course of the day.
In the second game, the Spartan offense got going quickly. Boyd walked and eventually got to third on Dunning's sacrifice bunt attempt. One out later, McNair brought home both with a single into center, and sophomore Whitney Williams made it 4-0 with a high, deep shot over the center-field fence.
In the second inning, Boyd reached on a bunt single and scored from second when Dunning laid down another bunt down the line. McNair blasted her third homer of the season one out later, and sophomore Alina Moriarty and Williams each singled to set up Bitler.
Bitler hit a hard shot back up the middle, a little to the second base side of the bag, and was able to race all the way home when Howard center field Jenny Ly came up on the hit and ran right past the ball.
Junior Robyn Mitchell hit a solo home run in the top of the third, and Bitler and senior Kathy Cortez hit RBI singles later in the inning for a 13-1 lead. Two more runs came home when Dunning hit a bases-loaded single through the hole between first and second and the right fielder booted the ball to allow the second run to score.
Senior Nikki Jones hit a pinch-hit home run deep over the left center field fence in the fourth, and McNair hit another two-run single in the seventh to score Boyd and Dunning for the final runs of the game.
In the first game, NSU scored eight runs in the first two innings against the Bison (1-18, 0-5 MEAC). Mitchell's RBI single with no outs got things going, and then one out later she and Dunning scored on a wild pitch and an error on the same play.
Two errors on the Bison -- they had 12 in the two games -- and a single into left by Boyd loaded the bases in the second inning. The first two of the five runs in the inning scored on another Howard error at first, and then one more run came home thanks to an error on a fielder's choice from Moriarty.
Williams hit a two-run single later in the inning for an 8-1 lead.
Dunning hit an RBI groundout in the third, and NSU added four more runs in the fifth to run-rule the Bison. Mitchell and Moriarty hit back-to-back RBI doubles into the gaps, and the seventh error of the game for HU brought home another run. Junior Sommer Di Fulgo hit a sac fly for the final margin of victory.
Boyd and Dunning continued to lead the Spartan offense at the top of the lineup. Boyd finished 6-for-8 on the day with five runs and four stolen bases, while Dunning hit 4-for-7 with six runs and three RBI.
Williams had a solid day as well with two runs and four RBI on 5-for-8 hitting