The Rams (11-8, 1-3 MEC), in their first appearance at home this season Tuesday afternoon, lost game one to the Marauders (8-9) of Millersville by a 5-4 score in game one. In game two, the Rams rebounded and won 13-4.
It really was a flipping of the script for the Rams in between games one and two.
In game one, the Rams got great pitching from junior starting pitcher Kaitlin Munda through three innings of work. She did not allow a single run, until a disastrous fourth inning in which the Marauders piled on five runs to take a 5-0 lead.
With the bases loaded, infielder Rebecca Blatt was walked, which allowed all runners to advance to their next base. Outfielder Nicole Burke scored on the play to give the Marauders a 2-0 lead.
The misery was just starting for the Rams in the inning though, as utility player Raeann Buskey got to first base on an error by the Rams’ shortstop. In the process, all runners advanced and outfielder Jade Laughlin capitalized on the error by reaching home to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Marauders.
Still in the fourth inning, outfielder Heather Lutz blasted a double to left field, giving ample time for Blatt and infielder Morgan Almodover to reach home plate and augment the lead to 5-0.
However, the Rams would counter with four runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh and final inning. After a RBI (run batted in) single by sophomore shortstop/outfielder Kaitlyn Konopka, sophomore first/third baseman Connor Gilligan launched a bases-clearing double that drove home three Rams to narrow the deficit to 5-4.
With Gilligan on second base representing the tying run, junior outfielder Jessica Robertson flied out to center field to end the game.
Things would bounce back better for the Rams in game two though. Senior starting pitcher Tara Hanson had a solid performance with her 4.1 innings of work. She controlled the game early on by shutting down the Marauders’ bats. Hanson allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits, walked none, and struck out three Marauders.
Hanson did not have to do it by herself though, as the Rams won this game easily with their tremendous offensive display, scoring 13 runs.
In the second inning, already with a 3-1 lead, Gilligan stepped up to the plate again and this time delivered a grand slam homerun to left field that sent the Rams’ fans crazy, increasing their lead to 7-1.
Junior catcher Molly Staley of the Rams countered Gilligan’s blast with a bases-clearing double to right field in the fourth inning to give the Rams an ever-commanding 10-3 lead.
In the fifth inning, infielder Brittany Smith responded for the Marauders with a RBI double to right center field to get Buskey home to trim the lead to 10-4.
Smith’s RBI would not be enough to extend the game though, as the Rams would end the game after five innings with a mercy rule.
Konopka got the scoring started in the fifth inning for the Rams as she reached first base thanks to an error by the Maruaders’ second baseman. Freshman utility player Bailee Jackson scored on the error to give the Rams an 11-4 lead.
Then, senior third/first baseman Alexandra Witt sent the Marauders home with a walk-off two-run homerun to end the game with a 13-4 score.
After starting off game one slow offensively, the Rams exploded for 10 runs in the first four innings in game two.
With the split, the Rams are now sixth in the Mountain East Conference standings.
The Rams travel to Urbana University (Ohio) for a double-header beginning at 2 p.m.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at email@example.com