The fifth seeded Rams’ took on fourth seeded Lock Haven in their first game of the NCAA Division II Atlantic 1 Region Tournament which was a hard-fought battle that required nine innings to settle. The Rams traveled to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania Thursday in what wound up being the first loss in this tournament after faltering in the MEC tournament.
It was clear from the start of the game that it would be a tightly contested one, with the teams two top starting pitchers taking the mound and it didn’t disappoint if you enjoy pitching and defensive struggles. Junior Lori Sturgill for the Rams came into the game with a 14-7 record and fellow junior Bekah Slattery who entered with a 18-5 record started for the Lock Haven.
Both starting pitchers ended up throwing complete games, with Sturgill allowing just three hits and the lone run in the ninth inning walk-off and Slattery surrendering five total hits in the effort that held Shepherd scoreless.
The best chance for the Rams to get on the board came in the sixth inning when the bases were loaded with no outs but couldn’t get a run home as Leann Brown lined out, followed by a Molly Staley strikeout, and lastly Sturgill popped out.
Other than that opportunity it was sparse for both teams on the offensive front as the winning run from Lock Haven came with one out and was scored by pinch runner Olivia Hall. Traci Kromko registered the RBI on the walk-off and reached first via fielder’s choice.
With the loss, the Rams season record fell too 33-19 and Lock Haven now sits at 37-12 with the win.
Lock Haven will face top seed West Chester, with the Rams now set to face eighth seeded Chowan at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11.