NORFOLK, Va. – Senior Liz Riley had another solid outing in the circle, and the Norfolk State softball team scored the second-most runs in a game this season in a 12-1 victory over Coppin State on Friday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field.
A day after pitching a one-hit shutout, Riley allowed just four hits and one unearned run in shutting down the Eagles. The Spartan offense, meanwhile, had 13 hits on the day, although only four of the 12 runs were earned for Coppin State starter Ellie Vogel.
The victory guaranteed NSU a spot in next month’s MEAC tournament, in which the top four teams from each division advance. The Spartans need a win over Hampton next weekend or a loss by Howard against Delaware State this weekend to guarantee themselves at least third in the MEAC Northern Division, if not better.
NSU entered the series with Coppin State tied for first in the division with Delaware State at 8-4. The Spartans now sit 11-4 in conference play and 12-22 overall. Every other team in the North will play this weekend. CSU fell 3-27 overall and 3-9 in the MEAC.
Riley (4-10) struck out five and did not walk a batter in extending her streak to 14 innings without giving up an earned run. Coppin State scored its lone run in the bottom of the first following a pair of singles and then an error on the Spartans.
But it was all NSU from there, as the Eagles managed just two base runners over the last six innings of the game.
Junior Megan Dunning tied the game up at 1-1 after singling and scoring on a dropped fly in the second inning. NSU then took the lead with three runs in the third.
With two outs, sophomore left fielder Devon Bitler walked and scored on senior right fielder Alina Moriarty‘s triple to center. Junior third baseman Whitney Williams followed with her sixth home run of the year for a 4-1 edge.
The Spartans pulled away with eight runs over the final two innings. Dunning led off the sixth with a solo homer, the first of her career, and singles by Riley and pinch hitter Mikki Haury put two runners on base. Bitler’s two-run double to left brought home both.
Williams walked to start a five-run seventh. Another walk and then a single by Dunning plated the first run of the last frame. Two runs came home on an error on CSU, and freshman second baseman Seana Moriarty doubled to put runners on second and third.
Junior center fielder Heather Dunning followed with a sacrifice fly to right, and Bitler singled into left field to finish out the scoring.
Bitler hit 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Williams drove in a pair and also scored twice. Dunning (3-for-3, three runs scored) and Riley (2-for-4, two runs scored) also had productive days.
The Spartans will travel to George Mason for a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Originally Posted By NSUSpartans.com