NCCU Wins 2023 MEAC Softball Championship

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NORFOLK, Va. – The North Carolina Central University softball team secured its first-ever MEAC Softball Championship title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a convincing 6-2 win over Coppin State University on Saturday afternoon at the NSU Softball Field.

The third-seeded NCCU Eagles, who joined the league in 2011-12, secured its first MEAC Softball Championship with four wins in the four-day tournament, including two triumphs against Coppin State. Third-year head coach and MEAC Coach of the Year Cat Tarvin guided NCCU to the historic title on the way to being named the 2023 MEAC Softball Championship Most Outstanding Coach.

NC Central (19-33) will make its first NCAA Division I tournament appearance next week. The NCAA Softball Regional selection show to begin the 2023 NCAA softball championship on the road to the Women’s College World Series will air on ESPN2 Sunday at 7 p.m.

Sophomore pitcher/designated player Jaden Davis was named the MEAC Most Outstanding Performer for the Eagles while junior Morgan Green and sophomore Ashanti Eubanks joined Davis on the MEAC All-Tournament Team.

Davis hit safely in all five tournament games, batting .333 with three extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 HR) and six runs. Davis also hurled two complete-game victories with 13 strikeouts on the way to earning her two postseason awards. Davis has now earned All-Tournament Team recognition each of her first two seasons at NCCU.

Green had a team-best .467 batting average and seven runs scored while Eubanks went 2-0, including the championship-clinching win, with a 2.33 ERA and 11 strikeouts to highlight their strong tournament performances.

Freshman Takia Nichols crushed a solo home run over the fence in left-center field to begin the second inning. Her eighth home run of her rookie campaign provided NCCU with a lead that would never be relinquished.

A couple of singles off the bats of juniors Jaylah Barr and Maegan Garrison led to a sacrifice fly by classmate Ivory Jones to double up NCCU’s early lead, 2-0, in the top of the second inning.

Freshman Celeste Gonzales cut the CSU deficit in half with an RBI hit in the bottom of the third.

NCCU quickly answered with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Barr and Green scored on a dropped flyball that put the designated visitors ahead 4-1. Garrison was credited with an RBI on the play as the flyball would have resulted in a sacrifice fly had the ball been caught.

Barr supplied an RBI-groundout in the top of the fifth inning that plated Davis for an insurance run that extended the NCCU lead to 5-1. Davis doubled to start the frame, extending her hit streak to a team-best 11 games.

Garrison and Nichols led the maroon and gray with two hits apiece. A double by Nichols to begin the seventh inning led to the final NCCU run.

NCCU received contributions throughout its lineup as the top eight batters all provided Eubanks with at least one hit, walk, or sacrifice to help generate the six championship runs.

Eubanks tossed a complete-game victory, her second of the tournament, after holding Coppin State to just one earned run on six hits. Eubanks also had four strikeouts in her eighth victory of the season.

Fifth-seeded Coppin State ended its incredible run with a season record of 16-28.

Source/Image: NCCU Athletics/NCCUEaglePride.com