ORMOND BEACH, Fla.- Bethune-Cookman defeated Florida A&M, 2-1, to win the 2012 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Softball Championship title, Saturday afternoon at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex.
The victory was the third consecutive and eighth overall MEAC Softball Championship title for the Lady Wildcats. Bethune-Cookman is the second team in conference history to win consecutive championships as they have won five straight from 2000 to 2004 and again from 2010 to 2012.
Florida A&M (28-29) put the first score on the board as Tera Gainer singled to left side scoring Jasmin Donaldson, giving the Lady Rattlers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Bethune-Cookman (30-29) came back aggressively in the second inning to score two runs in the bottom of the second inning as Cesley Tafoya singled down the leftfield line scoring both Sabrina Ferguson and Shamaria Engram for the 2-1 win.
As a team, B-CU collected five hits, led by Ferguson with two hits and one run. Tafoya was 1-of-1 with two RBI.
Tenisha Dixon was 2-for-3 with one RBI to lead the Lady Rattlers. FAMU had five hits in the game. In addition to Dixon, Tera Gainer, Kiefi Myrick and Jasmin Donaldson each earned one hit. Bethune-Cookman’s Shanel Tolbert (30-24), who was named the Outstanding Performer, pitched her fourth consecutive complete game of the tournament with five strikeouts, two walks, and one earned run.
Florida A&M’s Jennifer Lindsey (16-9) got the loss with two strikeouts, four walks, and two earned runs in five innings of work.
Wildcats Head Coach Chris Cochran was named the Outstanding Coach for the third time in her career.
With the win, Bethune-Cookman receives the conference’s automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Softball Championship. The NCAA Softball Championship pairings will be announced tomorrow at 10 p.m. on ESPNU.
2012 MEAC Softball All-Tournament Team Madison Hedderly, Savannah State Brooke Boykin, Hampton Amber Hallman,Savannah State Shine Huwe,Hampton Nina Ferguson,Hampton Bria Green,Delaware State Jennifer Lindsey,Florida A&M Aurelia Gamch,Bethune-Cookman Shanel Tolbert, Bethune-Cookman Shamaria Engram,Bethune-Cookman Tera Gainer,Florida A&M Outstanding Performer: Shanel Tolbert, Bethune-Cookman Outstanding Coach: Chris Cochran, Bethune-Cookman