Howard Softball
Howard University

Howard wins with a walk-off hit, advances to MEAC Championship

Howard will have to beat Morgan State twice on Saturday to win the championship.

Courtesy: Howard Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. (May 13, 2022) – Freshman outfielder Payton Quinonez (Tulare, Calif.) delivered arguably one of her biggest hits in her young Bison career, sending the No. 2 Howard University softball team to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Title Game with a walk-off RBI-single against rival No. 3 Norfolk State (NSU), 8-7, at NSU Softball Field.

Both squads were deadlocked in the seventh, 7-7, and with two outs, senior Xzarria Simmons (Escondido, Calif.) jumped the Bison rally with a single to short. Up next, rookie Alyssa Watson (Eastvale, Calif.) reached base on a dropped third strike where Simmons advanced to third. With two outs and runners on the corners, Quinonez drilled her first pitch at-bat to center to bring home Simmons and send the Bison to Championship Saturday.

HU registered eight runs on six hits, led by Quinonez going 2-of-4 with a run scored and walk-off RBI-single.

Howard jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage after one, but the Spartans responded with a four-run second inning and took their first lead of game, 4-3.

NSU extended its lead with an unearned run in the fourth, 5-3, but senior Maxie Harrington (Vacaville, Calif.) scored on a passed ball and pulled the Bison back within one after four innings of play, 5-4.

Next inning, All-MEAC First Team selection Lealani Ricks (Madera, Calif.) stole home and tied the contest at five apiece, 5-5.

In the sixth, NSU reclaimed the upper hand after a two-run double from Lily Potter, 7-5, but senior Camille Navarro (Los Angeles) answered with a two-run single and tied the game again after six, 7-7.

Senior Sydney Hixenbaugh (Millstone, N.J.) displayed an outstanding performance in relief, tossing 5.1 innings in the win.

For NSU (34-23), they saw their 2022 campaign come to an end after setting a program record for wins in a season during the Div. I era (34). Potter had a game-high three RBIs in the loss.

With a victory, HU advances to the title game where they will face top seeded Morgan State (MSU) in a rematch. First pitch is set for 9 a.m. and will be streamed live on the MEAC Digital Network via YouTube.

For Howard to win its second MEAC title, the Bison must defeat MSU twice on Championship Saturday.

Howard wins with a walk-off hit, advances to MEAC Championship
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