Shepherd Softball Unable to Close Out Chowan

The Rams (2-3) could not finish off the Hawks (8-11) of Chowan University Friday evening in their first game at the Shaw University Tournament on Friday evening, as the Hawks mounted a seventh inning comeback to the take the 4-3 win.

With a first inning RBI single by senior third/first baseman Alexandra Witt, the Rams were on the board first as sophomore shortstop/outfielder Kaitlyn Konopka came in to score.

Witt would score a run of her own when junior pitcher/outfielder Kaitlin Munda launched a triple that gave ample time for Witt to round all the bases.

Just like that, the Rams took a 2-0 lead after one inning.

In the fourth inning, the Hawks dented the Rams’ lead thanks to a bases-loaded-walk by the Rams’ senior starting pitcher Tara Hanson to infielder Brook Bowen that allowed utility player Donya Salman to score the first run of the game for the Hawks.

For the most part, Hanson was on her game through the first six innings. She just allowed that one run in the fourth inning, but things would curtail from there.

After the Rams gave her a 3-1 lead entering the seventh inning thanks to another RBI single, this time to center field, by Witt that Konopka again scored off of, the game slipped through the Rams’ hands.

The dreadful seventh inning collapse started off with an RBI single to center field by Katrina Simmons. Outfielder Kris Neal reached third on the play, as outfielder Emily Stafford rounded home plate to narrow the margin to 3-2 in favor of the Rams.

With the tying runner at third base, Hanson threw a wild pitch that got away from the catcher, giving plenty of time for Neal to capitalize and score off of. Simmons also got to second base on the play.

Just like that, the Rams’ lead was gone, and the game was tied at 3-3.

Sophomore pitcher Lori Sturgill then entered the game to see if she could stop the Hawks’ momentum. She was not able to though, as the accumulated mistakes in the inning were too much for the Rams to overcome.

Catcher Haley Cooper got what turned out to be the winning RBI, as she reached first base off of a fielder’s choice. Fellow catcher Andi Blodgett was thrown out at second on the play, but the Rams did not stop Simmons from rounding the bases and scoring their third run of the inning.

Now having a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Hawks were able to close out the Rams, although not without a fight.

Konopka and freshman utility player Bailee Jackson had consecutive single to give the Rams two runners on with one out. They were about to avenge their earlier mistakes in the inning.

However, Witt and sophomore first/third baseman Connor Gilligan countered (in a bad way) with two consecutive strikeouts at the hands of the Hawks’ starting pitcher Kayla Robins to end the game.

Robins, who threw a complete game, gave up three runs on six hits, walked two, and struck out 13 Rams’ batters. Despite her struggles early on, she performed well when it mattered most.

In the loss, Hanson pitched 6.1 innings, gave up four runs on five hits, walked three, and struck out four).

The Rams as team had three runs on six hits, while committing one error. The Hawks were just a little better, as they had four runs on six hits, with one error as well.

Saturday, the Rams continue their tournament action when they square off against Lincoln University at 1:30 p.m. and Wayne State at 4 p.m.

Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.