ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - Freshman third baseman Hera Varmah belted a lead off solo homer in the top of the seventh to vault the Florida A&M Women’s Softball team past Morgan State, 2-1, in the second round of the 2018 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Softball Championship at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex.
FAMU (22-27) advances to Friday’s 12 Noon winner’s Bracket final, where they will duel archrival Bethune-Cookman, a 3-2 winner over Savannah State, for a trip to Saturday’s championship round.
Varmah’s homer was her fourth of the season, and the timing couldn’t have been better as the tightly-contested bout was down to the wire, thanks to excellent pitching from both teams.
FAMU’s Kyaira Brown (15-11) tossed a two-hitter against Morgan State (28-16), the North Division winners, allowing a third inning tally on a RBI single by Giselle Alvarez, which drove in Damali Young, who was hit by a pitch.
Brown allowed just two hits, striking out a season high 11batters, against just two walks, while Morgan’s circle combo of Stephanie Rundlett and Amy Begg held FAMU to two hits.
Rundlett allowed a first inning run on Tyra Bowers’ steal of home, striking out three and walking three in four and one-third innings. She was lifted in the fifth for Amy Begg (16-7), who pitched out of a bases loaded jam, before giving up the game winner in the seventh on the Varmah home run.
Varmah and Taylor Rosier had the two hits for FAMU Thursday, while Alvarez and Evvie Buehlman (a double) had the two safeties for Morgan State.
Morgan State dropped into the elimination bracket and was to face off against North Division foe Hampton in one of the two elimination bouts set for Thursday evening. Savannah State was to face South Division foe North Carolina Central in the evening’s other win-or-go-home battle.