The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers softball team (5-24-1) are looking to win their fourth consecutive Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference title.
The Lady Rattlers have completed most of their non-conference schedule and are about to open up their MEAC schedule against North Carolina Central University (5-17).
Head coach Veronica Wiggins is looking to get the team back on a winning track after the team fell into a five-game losing streak after her 700th win. FAMU athletics along with the Tallahassee community will be honoring Wiggins for her career milestone during Saturday’s game against NCCU.
The win came on March 12, after the Lady Rattlers took down the Howard Lady Bison, 8 – 1. The Lady Rattlers will play the doubleheader Saturday against NCCU with the first game starting at 1 p.m. and the second game at 3 p.m.
Florida A&M University’s women’s basketball team surprised many people with their 59-51 win over Norfolk State University. The Lady Rattlers held their ground against NSU, who are the number two team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Senior guard Florence Ouattara led the team in scoring with 12 points while senior forward Alicia McCray and junior guard Shakeyrra Morrison both put up double-doubles with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
“I thought Alicia played a heck of a game. I’ve been waiting on Alicia to do this all year and she just played an all-around great game tonight, she was just fearless.,” head coach LeDawn Gibson said.
McCray filled up the stat sheet with her performance in the paint. 10 of her 13 rebounds were defensive rebounds and she got all of the team’s six blocks.
The Lady Rattlers turned the ball over 21 times but managed to hold the Spartans to 25% shooting from the field for the night and only three of NSU’s players were able to score more than six points.
“I think their heads and hearts are in the right place. I think going into the end of the season we’re in the right place mentally and physically,” Gibson said.
The last three games of the season are all conference games and two of them are against top-four teams in the MEAC.
“We got two more home games to incite the fans and to get some more people out there to support us for the MEAC,” Gibson said. “We just got to go out there and be fearless and try to put ourselves in a better situation for the MEAC tournament.”
The Lady Rattlers look to end their season on another win streak after getting their first win since North Carolina A&T snapped their five-game win streak.
“I think we have a great team. We’ve been on a rollercoaster ride, we lost two last week that I don’t think we should’ve lost but we did. We’re just trying to bounce back this week and move forward and continue to work,” Gibson said. The Lady Rattlers play their next game on Monday against Hampton University. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.
The Rattlers of Florida A&M University’s baseball team are excited to start their season against the Wofford College Terriers of the Southern Conference on Friday. The Rattlers have been making major improvements to their program for the last three years under head coach Jamey Shouppe.
Shouppe won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference coach of the year award in 2016 for the second time in his first three years of coaching. He was able to guide the Rattlers their first 30+ win season since 1980.
The Rattlers are looking to improve off of being back-to-back MEAC Southern Champions without their starting catcher and team captain Jackie Myles Jr. Myles Jr. was ruled out for the season Monday after he tore his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Shouppe was confident that his pitchers will still be able to pitch well even without Myles Jr. behind the plate to catch for them.
“We feel like we’re better pitching. We got a few more power arms that we have not had since I’ve been in this program,” Shouppe said. “We’re excited about our pitchers this year. We feel like we’re going to be a little better on the hill.”
The Rattlers are still hopeful about the upcoming season with the new change in the batting lineup since Myles Jr. is out for the season.
“John Capra will lead off for us and play shortstop this year. We feel he’s going to be our on base percentage type guy for us, only struck out either none or one time for us this past fall,” Shouppe said.
The Rattlers will start the season by playing 13 of their first 14 games at home to help their players miss fewer classes. The stretch of home games gives the fans more chances to witness FAMU build on to the rising program that they have.
“With us playing a lot of home games it keeps our kids in the classroom,” Shouppe said. “If we go on one road trip, it’s going to cost us about $1,300-$1,400. So it’s cost productive to bring teams to play early in the season. It’s great for the home fan base and it’s great for our kids to stay in the classroom and get caught up their classroom stuff so that when we do start to travel a little bit they aren’t behind.”
Junior catcher Jacky Miles Jr. has officially been ruled out for the 2017 season. Miles Jr., who is a captain of Florida A&M’s baseball team, found out that the tear of his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee will keep him out for the season.
“He had some back issues too so hopefully he’ll get healthy and be back with us next year, but it’s quite a blow to our pitching staff having our starting catcher out,” head coach Jamey Shouppe said.
Miles Jr. was on the All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Third Team in 2016. He finished top-five in 10 out of 14 hitting categories with one of them being for his batting average of .328. Against teams in the MEAC, Miles Jr. finished the 2016 season with a batting average of .411 with only 73 at-bats.
“Brian Davis, who was our backup catcher, caught the second game of doubleheaders last year will go to our starting catcher position,” Shouppe said. “That will open up some opportunities at first base where Brian was scheduled to start and then also open up an opportunity for either Javon Byrd or Russell Rauh to win that backup catching job.”
Davis was an All-MEAC first-team first baseman in 2016 and finished the season third in batting with an average of .370. Davis also finished second on the team in hits with 70 and tied for seventh in the MEAC in home runs with 7.
The Rattlers will open up their season against Wofford at home on Friday at 4 p.m.