In their final game in the Shaw University tournament, the Rams (5-4) convincingly defeated the Bears (1-11) of Shaw University.
Infielder Baile Nixon got the Bears’ only run of the game in the first inning. She singled and hustled around the bases to get to second base. Outfielder Sheniqua Fahie scored on the play, giving the Bears the early momentum.
That momentum would be lost fairly quickly though, as the Rams would respond with the final 11 runs of the game, including 9 in the third inning.
Recording 11 hits, the Rams pounded the pitches of the Bears’ starting pitcher Sheniqua Fahie (0-1). She lasted just 2.1 innings, allowing seven runs (five earned) on six hits. She also walked six and struck out just one Ram.
It was not nearly all her fault though, as the Bears fielding was terrible to say it nicely. They committed four errors as a team, generating tremendous opportunities for the Rams to pounce on.
Sophomore second baseman/shortstop Morgan Cox scored an unearned run for the Rams thanks to an error by the Bears’ first baseman. Sophomore outfielder/second baseman Ariana Ramirez reached first on the play.
Already up 4-1, senior outfielder Paige Buckworth recorded an RBI due in large part to an error by the Bears’ third baseman. Sophomore catcher Kelsie Weaver capitalized, scoring another unearned run.
Still in the third inning, sophomore first/third baseman Connor Gilligan produced an RBI single that brought Buckworth home, augmenting the Rams’ lead to 7-1.
That lead would be increased to 10-1 as junior outfielder Jessica Robinson cleared the bases with her three-RBI double to center field that blew the game even more wide open for the Rams.
Recording just six hits in the game, the Bears were not able to make up for their fielding mistakes with their pedestrian offensive display.
In the win, senior starting pitcher Tara Hanson got her second win of the day. With the shortened five inning game, she allowed just one run on six hits, walked one, and struck out five. Any time she got into trouble, either she or her teammates bailed her out of it.
Speaking with Coach Danielle Easton through email after the game, she talked about what she learned about the team through this tournament:
“We are a very talented group, but we just need to do a better job of working together and feeding off one another.”
Easton also spoke of the level of competition the Rams faced in the tournament:
“Wayne State was the best team we saw at the Shaw Tournament. They are very well coached and extremely competitive.”
Going forward, Easton said that getting through mental mistakes is the team’s chief concern going forward:
“We have a few things to work on, but the biggest obstacle right now is our mental game. We are often playing against/beating ourselves. It’s still early, so that will improve as our confidence builds.”
The Rams have their first home game of the season Tuesday afternoon against West Chester. The double-header starts at 2 p.m.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org