Shepherd softball earns impressive victories over East Stroudsburg and IUP in day one of Salem tournament

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Senior Kaitlin Munda had a strong performance on the mound with 8k’s and only allowing 4 hits against East Stroudsburg.(Photo Courtesy of Shepherd University Athletics).

Rams showed improvement from previous games defensively, allowing one score against East Stroudsburg Warriors (5-7) in a 9-1 win in the first game of the day. Against the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Crimson Hawks (1-1) in the second matchup of the day, the Rams came out on top with a 5-4 victory.
In the top of the first inning, East Stroudsburg would get on the board first, as senior third baseman Mary Wallick singled, allowing sophomore center fielder Kaylee Hazewski to score, giving the Warriors an early 1-0 lead.
Shepherd senior pitcher Kaitlin Munda would help end the inning for the Rams by striking out senior second baseman Heather Visco. Rams junior catcher Rachel Taylor threw an excellent ball to short stop Ashley Burger to tag out Wallick to end the inning, who was caught stealing on the play.
The Rams started off slow offensively. In the first three innings Rams’ batters either hit a pop up to the outfield, struck out, or hit a ground ball that a Warrior defender would secure for an out.
Munda had a strong day on the mound. In her five innings of work, Munda struck out eight batters and only gave up four hits out of 19 at-bats.
In the bottom of the fourth, Shepherd freshman second baseman Leann Brown smacked the ball out of the gate, hitting a two-run homer to put the Rams back in the lead for good with a 2-1 score.
Brown and junior right fielder Morgan Cox had a pair of hits for the Rams against the Warriors.
The Rams really got things going in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring seven runs, feeding off of each other’s energy in the process.
Sophomore third baseman Allison Baker would get things going for the Rams in the inning by hitting a double that would eventually lead her to score on a throwing error by Warriors freshman catcher Kaitlyn Caleen, making the score 3-1 in favor of the Rams.
With the seventh and final run of the inning by Munda, the Rams would win the game through five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule.
In the Rams second matchup of the day against the IUP Crimson Hawks, Shepherd had to come back from an early 2-0 deficit in the first inning against the Crimson Hawks.
The Rams would rally back to take a one-run lead in the top of the third and fifth innings, respectively, although IUP would come back to tie the Rams in the bottom of the third and fifth innings.
Through five innings of play, the score was tied at 4-4. Both teams played very well defensively, shutting out each other through the final three innings of play.
It would take three extra innings for the Rams to score off a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning to give Shepherd its second win of the day with a 5-4 victory.
The Rams hope to continue their success on Saturday, March 10, in the Salem Tournament. Shepherd has another double-header against Edinboro at 10 a.m. and Gannon University at 12 p.m.
Information in this article was obtained from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Athletics Department’s website.
Justin Cole is a sports writer for The Picket. He can be reached at jcole07@rams.shepherd.edu