NCCU’s Vernon Listed to D1 Baseball 2020 Top 150 Prospect List Jonathan Duren
DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University sophomore Austin Vernon (Raleigh, N.C.) has been named to D1 Baseball’s 2020 College Top 150 Prospect list, the publication announced on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Vernon made 19 appearances with two starts in his freshman season, and tallied 20.0 innings with 16 strikeouts. He’ll return to the bullpen with his high velocity fastball in the 2019 campaign.

“It’s a nice recognition towards Austin’s potential and the improvements he’s made,” NCCU baseball head coach Jim Koerner said. “We’re looking forward to seeing a productive spring from him.”

Vernon is the only student-athlete from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on the list, which is headlined by Casey Martin from Arkansas. To view the full list,

NCCU will open the 2019 season at home against Canisius on Friday, Feb. 15 at the Durham Athletic Park at 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

NCCU Opens Season with 7-3 Win over Southern

Kevin Buczek

ZACHARY, La. — Freshman catcher Madison Mifsud went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored in her collegiate debut to spark the North Carolina Central University softball team to a 7-3 victory over host Southern University in the opening game of the Chef Celeste Bistro Softball Challenge at the Zackary Youth Park Friday morning.

The Lady Eagles scored four runs in the first inning and never trailed to start their season with a win for the first time since 2011. NCCU (1-0) also added a run in the third, fourth and fifth innings to prevail by four runs.

Mifsud highlighted the early run production for the Lady Eagles with a two-run single in the opening frame. She added two more base hits before being retired for the first time in her final plate appearance.

The maroon and gray outhit the Jaguars 9-6, including doubles off the bats of freshman first baseman Oliva Daniel, junior third baseman Dalika Wallace and sophomore outfielder Jessica Powell. All three of those doubles led to runs.

Daniel had the only other RBI for the Lady Eagles as three of NCCU’s seven runs were unearned due to three errors by Southern. Daniel and junior Tamiera Sanchez both collected a pair of hits for the victors.

Sophomore pitcher Kiara Hurley (1-0) secured a complete-game victory in her first appearance with the Lady Eagles. The transfer from Eastern Michigan University only surrendered two earned runs in seven innings of work while striking out six Jaguars.

Southern (0-1) pulled to within one, 4-3, after scoring all three of its runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman Paytin Mercado had two of the Jaguars’ six hits, including a two-run double. Junior Aubrion James (0-1) – a Preseason All-SWAC selection – was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs (four earned) on nine hits over seven complete innings.

NCCU continues play in the Chef Celeste Bistro Softball Challenge on Friday with a 4 p.m. match-up against Alabama State University.

NC Central 7, Southern 3 (Feb 08, 2019 at Zachary, La.)


NC Central.......... 401 110 0 - 7 9 1 (1-0)

Southern............ 003 000 0 - 3 6 3 (0-1)


Pitchers: NC Central - HURLEY,Kiara and MIFSUD,Madison. Southern - A. James and J. Kruebbe.

Win-HURLEY,Kiara(1-0) Loss-A. James(0-1) T-2:15 A-75

Weather: sunny 50
Rams Shut Down Clark Atlanta for 9-1 Five-Inning Win at HBCU DII Tournament

Robinson holds Panthers to just three hits in win

Trevin Goodwin

ACWORTH, GA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (4-1) got back to their winning ways when the team took a 9-1 five-inning win over the Clark Atlanta Panthers at the HBCU DII Tournament, Saturday morning. The Rams took the win behind a great overall defensive effort and some great offense in the win.

As a team, the Rams had a great performance both at the plate and in the field to take the win. The Rams totaled 12 hits in the game while holding the Panthers to just three hits. WSSU senior second base Destiny Snipes led the way for the Rams with a three-for-four batting performance with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. Junior designated player Erica Davis added a two-for-three batting performance with a run scored and an RBI. Freshman center fielder Shauntaja Dedecker hit a solo home run as well.

The Rams broke the game open early and played some clutch defense to seal the win. Davis put the Rams on the scoreboard when she scored on a Clark Atlanta wild pitch in the first inning. Clark Atlanta answered in the bottom of the first inning to leave the game tied 1-1. However, it was in the second inning when the Rams really took things over. The team scored five runs during the inning. Dedecker got things started with her solo home run. It was followed by an RBI single from sophomore pitcher Tia Robinson. Sophomore outfielder Nyla Howard added an RBI groundout to third base as well. Robinson then scored on a CAU wild pitch that was followed by an RBI single from Davis. At the end of the inning, the Rams held a 6-1 lead over the Panthers. The Rams added two more runs in the fourth inning when freshman Alleigh Himes hit an RBI double that was followed by an RBI single from freshman Jasmine McCain. The hit put the Rams up, 8-1. It was Snipes who ended the game when she hit an RBI single in the fifth inning to givethe Rams the 9-1 five-inning win.

WSSU sophomore Tia Robinson (2-1) got the pitching win. She started the game and threw all five innings for the Rams. She held the Panthers to just one run (none earned) on three hits with four strikeouts.

With the win, the Rams improve to 4-1 on the season. The team would go on to take on the Kentucky State Thorobreds later in the day. For more information on Rams softball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to

Jim Heath
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Junior Jermaine Marrow recorded his sixth 30-point game of the year with 32 points and senior Kalin Fisher added a season-high 29 as Hampton dropped a 101-91 decision at Winthrop on Saturday afternoon.

Jumpers by Marrow and Trevond Barnes gave Hampton a 10-6 lead with 16:57 left in the first half. Winthrop responded with an 11-2 run to lead 17-12 on a Charles Falden 3-pointer with 13:07 left. The advantage grew to 36-24 on an AustinAwad 3-ball at the 7:43 mark but Hampton got as close as four the rest of the first half as Marrow drained a 3-ball with 62 seconds left for a 47-43 halftime margin.

In the second half, an early dunk by Barnes got them to 47-45 at the 18:50 mark but that momentum was stifled as the Eagles went on a run to lead 61-50 on a pair of Nych Smith free throws with 13:54 left. A jumper by Akim Mitchell trimmedit to 61-52 11 seconds later, but that was as close as they got the rest of the game.

Along with his 32 points, Marrow was the leading rebounder for Hampton with five as the Pirates were outrebounded 48-29. Barnes was the other double figure scorer for Hampton with 11.

The Pirates now go to Campbell on Wednesday night for a 7pm tip in Buies Creek, N.C.

For more information on Hampton University men’s basketball,  visit the official Pirates website at
Rams Hold Off Claflin for 67-59 Road Win

WSSU hits clutch free throws late to claim victory

Trevin Q. Goodwin
ORANGEBURG, SC - The Winston-Salem State Rams (13-9, 9-4 CIAA) played some tough defense and hit some key free throws on their way to a 67-59 win over the Claflin Panthers (12-12, 8-8 CIAA), Thursday evening. The Rams held the lead for most of the game, but they neededto play some tough defense to keep the feisty Panthers at bay and to claim the win.

Winston-Salem State played some tough defense and a balanced offensive attack to claim the win. As a team, the Rams held the Panthers to shooting just 36.5% (23-of-63) from the floor while shooting a solid38.3% (18-of-47) from the floor in the game. Freshman guard Amaya Tucker led four WSSU players in double-digit scoring with 19 points in the game. Fellow freshman guard Hailey Gipson added a career-high 16 points while freshman forward Kyree Hall added 11points with eight rebounds and senior forward Brionna Pate rounded out the effort with a double-double 10 points and 14 rebounds.

The Rams took control of the game early in the first quarter, but they had to fend off a tough effort by the Panthers. After allowing the Panthers stay close for much of the quarter, the Rams pulled way 20-15after a pair of free throws from freshman forward Kyree Hall with 00:32 left in the quarter. However, the Rams allowed the Panthers to close the quarter with a score to stay ahead, 20-17.

The second quarter had a similar look as the Rams were slow to get started, but pulled away midway through the quarter before allowing the Panthers to go on another late surge to keep the game close. TheRams’ biggest lead of the quarter came when freshman guard Hailey Gipson hit a lay-up with 3:46 left in the half to go ahead, 32-23. However, the Rams went scoreless for the remainder of the quarter and had to fend off a late run by the Panthers to take a32-30 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The third quarter was the most competitive of the game. The Rams were outscored 14-13 in the quarter, but they were able to hold on to their overall lead in the game. After pushing their lead to eight points,38-30 after a Gipson free throw with 7:58 left in the quarter, the Rams ran into some struggles as Claflin made a fierce comeback effort. The Rams allowed the Panthers to go on a 10-2 run to tie the game, 40-40 before junior guard Taylor Daniels hit a critical jumper with 2:39 left in the quarter to break the tie. Both teams would go on the offensive attack in the final minutes of the quarter, but the Rams held on to take a 45-44 lead into the fourth quarter.

With the victory within reach, the Rams picked up their effort s to claim the win as they outscored the Panthers, 22-13 en route to the win. The Rams opened the quarter with a 6-1 run to take a 51-46 lead with 7:58 left to play after a Pate lay-up. From there, the Rams never looked back. The team allowed Claflin to pull to within three points, but they never relinquished the lead. In the final minutes, the Rams hit several key free throws as the Claflin defense held the Rams without many final goals during the span. In the end, it was the Rams who came up with the victory.

With the win, the Rams improve to 13-9 overall and 9-4 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team also improves to 6-1 in CIAA Southern Division play to remain in a tie for first place. The Rams will return to action, Saturday when the team hosts the Saint Augustine’s Falcons in a 2:00 p.m. game. For more information on Rams women’s basketball,  log on to