Rams softball bows out of MEC tournament with 5-0 loss to UVa-Wise Saturday afternoon

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Photo of #22 Rams junior Rachel Taylor pictured at previous home game (Credit: William Ransom/ The Picket)

The Rams fell to the UVa-Wise Cavaliers in a convincing 5-0 fashion. The Rams headed into Saturday knowing they had to win out to continue their stay in the 2018 Mountain East Conference tournament due to the loss they picked up vs. West Virginia State in Fridays double header.

The game was marked by a complete defensive effort from the Cavaliers starters as the offense was able to jump out to an early lead and clamp down on Shepherd batters. The Cavaliers didn’t wait long to get the scoring started, with the team opening with four runs in the top of the first inning.

The four runs to start off the game was like a punch in the mouth to the Rams as they were unable to recover. Left fielder Taylor Creasey started it all off with a sac-fly to center field that brought teammate Alexis Miles home with third baseman Samantha Ely scoring from third base during the very next at bat due to a fielding error by Rams freshman shortstop Ashley Burger. The score quickly got to 2-0, but the Cavaliers weren’t done in the inning.

First baseman Monica Brandts finished off the scoring in the opening inning for UVa-Wise with a two RBI single up the middle of the field into center which scored catcher Bridget Henzel and second baseman Kaylee Jones to get to 4-0 by the end of the top of the first inning.

The UVa-Wise defense held the Rams scoreless for the entire game in large part to the effort of their top starting pitcher Taylor Brandts, who with the win brought her season record to 17-11. For the game Brandts allowed just six total hits and seven strikeouts in a complete game of action.

Lori Sturgill was the selected starter for the Rams and surrendered five runs on four total hits in a complete game effort as well. Sturgill also struck out three Cavaliers in the loss, which brings her record to 14-7 for the year.

Despite the cold bats in the final game of this season, the Rams softball team has no choice but to look forward to next season with promise after a solid 33-18 season record.

Vaughn Brewer is a sports writer for the picket. He can be reached at vbrewe01@rams.shepherd.edu