The Rams (10-7, 1-3 MEC) lost both games in a road double-header against the 15th-ranked Bobcats (14-2, 2-0 MEC) of West Virginia Wesleyan.
In game one, the Rams were shutout 4-0.
Junior starting pitcher Kaitlin Munda of the Rams took the loss, pitching six innings, allowing all four runs (two of them earned) on three hits. She also walked just one Bobcat, but she managed just to strike out just one batter the whole game.
However, as her stat line suggests, she had little to no help thanks to the fielding errors committed by her teammates.
After grounding out to the Rams shortstop while producing an RBI in the first inning, outfielder Olivia Gore again did damage to the Rams with her sacrifice fly to right field in the third inning that gave enough time for infielder Taylor Barnett to come in and score to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.
Outfielder Tori Pogue added another run for the Bobcats in the third inning when she advanced home after an error by the Rams’ catcher let the ball get by to increase the deficit to 3-0.
A passed ball, wild pitch, and subsequent sacrifice fly to center field let Gore come home to score in the sixth inning that gave the Bobcats all the room they would need, as they would go on to win game one by a 4-0 score.
Bobcats’ pitcher Hannah Vet (6-0) continued her early-season dominance with a complete-game seven inning masterpiece that consisted of allowing just one hit and striking out six Rams. She never let the Rams get into a rhythm offensively.
Recording just one hit in the game thanks to a single to left field by sophomore first/third baseman Connor Gilligan, the Rams’ struggles would turn out to be even worse even in game two.
They recorded one hit in this contest as well, which was recorded by senior pitcher/outfielder Paige Buckworth, as she blasted a double to left field in the first inning.
Sayaka Foley (4-1) was clearly in the zone for the Bobcats, as she herself threw a five inning gem. She allowed just one hit and walk apiece, while striking out five Rams in the process.
Much like they had shown the previous game, the Rams could not figure out Foley’s assortment of pitches well enough to garner anything offensively.
Trailing 2-0 after three innings, sophomore starting pitcher Lori Sturgill of the Rams could not keep the Bobcats’ bats back any longer in. She, senior pitcher Tara Hanson, and Munda (who pitched earlier in the day), would go on to allow six runs in the fourth inning alone.
Third baseman Aylin Gutiernez got the scoring barrage started with her triple to right field that brought in catcher/outfielder Faith Tichnell to give the Bobcats a commanding 3-0 lead.
Barnett sent an RBI single to center field to get Gutiernez back home to give them a 4-0 lead.
After the bases were loaded later in the inning, catcher Morgan Bruce practically sent the Rams on their way home with a monster grand slam homerun that obliterated any hopes of a Rams’ comeback.
With an 8-0 lead, the Bobcats had the game well in hand.
In the top of the fifth, the Rams closed out the game much like they had all game long: with a fly out, ground out, and strike out.
This performance is certainly one that the Rams will want to shake off quickly and learn from.
The Rams have a quick turnaround as they host Millersville University at 2 p.m. in the first game of a double-header.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org