The Rams (3-4) fell to the Warriors (10-4) of Wayne State by a 7-2 score Saturday afternoon in the Shaw University tournament.
Junior starting pitcher Courtney Clemons (0-1) of the Rams took the loss, as she struggled early against the Warriors’ bats.
In the first inning, capitalizing off of a passed ball by the Rams, center fielder Allie Buchanan reached third and right fielder Lyndsay Butler reached home plate with the Rams’ error.
Buchanan made the score 2-0 after the Rams let another passed ball get through their fingers. Making silly mistakes against teams like the Warriors (ranked number 32 in the country) is a sure recipe for disaster, as the Rams would later find out.
Butler came up to bat in the third inning again, and this time she did not need any help from the Rams. She delivered a two-run homerun blast to right field that brought in first baseman Megan Guitar. This augmented the lead to 4-0 for the Warriors.
Third baseman Emma Adams added two more runs for the Warriors with a singled to center field. Second baseman Kylee Barrett was orginally going to be stopped at third base, but an errant throw from center field gave her more than enough time to score on the play. Outfielder Kristen Lucas also scored with the single by Adams.
With a 6-0 lead, the Warriors were in firm control of the game.
Needing some run support, in the fourth inning, junior outfielder Kaitlin Munda blasted a single through the left side that drove home senior third/first baseman Alexandra Witt and sophomore shortstop/outfielder Kaitlyn Konopka.
That would be all of the offense the Rams would be able to generate on the day though, as Butler (6-3) largely handled the Rams’ bats.
Butler threw a complete-game seven inning gem. She allowed two runs (both of them unearned) on five hits, did not walk a Ram, and struck out 11 Rams. A number of hitters whiffed at her assortment of pitches.
Clemons lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing one hits and two runs (both of them unearned). Munda and senior pitcher Tara Hanson would come in for relief of Clemons. They combined to allow five runs (three of them earned) and posted just two strikeouts.
A higher level of execution was needed for the Rams, but they just did not have enough in the tank.
As a team, the Rams had two runs on five hits, while committing two errors. The Warriors posted seven runs on six hits, while committing one error.
The Rams will square off against Virginia State at 10 a.m. and Shaw at 12:30 p.m. in further action in tournament play.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at