Rams Softball pre-game huddle

Softball improves to 11-6 over Spring Break

(THE PICKET)- The Shepherd Softball Team had a jam-packed schedule with 13 games over Spring Break and increased their record to 11-6 overall.

The Rams kicked off their Spring Break with a tournament in Salem, VA. Their first game on Friday, the 11th was against Mercyhurst University. The Lakers came out strong with an early four-run lead. Shepherd came within one in the third inning. Mercyhurst added another run in the sixth. The deficit proved to be just too much for the Rams to handle. The added one run in the bottom of the sixth but could not come back, losing 4-5.

The Rams turned their game around when they took on Malone later that day. Shepherd came out strong and took a quick lead with a two-RBI triple from Connor Gilligan in the first. Rachel Taylor doubled to center field for two RBIs in the third inning. The Rams held Malone scoreless and finished the day with an 8-0 shutout.

On Saturday, March 12th, the Rams took on Bloomsburg University and Virginia Union University. Bloomsburg started strong scoring five runs in the first two innings. Shepherd added three runs to the board by the third but didn’t have enough gas in the tank to finish the job. With neither team scoring after the third inning, The Rams, who committed five errors on the game took a 3-5 defeat.

For the second day in a row, the Rams came off a close loss to then shut out the second team they faced on Saturday. The Rams handed Virginia Union a merciless 11-0 defeat. With Shepherd’s combined nine hits, six in the first inning and five in the fourth, ended the game early due to the run-limit.

In what seems to be becoming a habit for the Rams, their third day of the tournament went exactly like the first two. The Rams were narrowly defeated in their first game on Sunday by Mansfield University 5-6. Mansfield scored four in the first, with the Rams only able to counter with one. By the third inning the Rams were within two, down 3-5. The game came down to the seventh inning when Mansfield scored one to give them a three-run edge. Shepherd mustered up all they had but fell short.

Just like clockwork, the Rams turned their day around once again when they handed Tiffin University an 8-0 shutout later on Sunday. The Rams scored six in the first inning once again, three of which were unearned runs. The Rams brought the heat in the fifth inning with a home run by Jessica Robinson. The Rams ended the game in the sixth inning when they topped off their unanswered lead with another run. Kaitlin Munda pitched a complete-game no hitter.

Shepherd carried their momentum into the rest of the week and added to their win streak.

The Rams hosted Glenville State College on Wednesday, the 16th for a double header. They handed the Pioneers a 5-1 defeat in game one and added a 5-2 triumph in game two. Shepherd started strong with two runs in the first. Unanswered through the third, Glenville scored one run in the fourth. The Pioneers were only to be countered with a three-RBI homer by Kaitlyn Konopkato seal the win for the Rams.

In the second game, the Pioneers struck first, scoring one run that was unanswered in the second. The Rams tied the game at two-two in the third inning. Shepherd held Glenville State scoreless for the remainder of the game and sealed the deal with three more runs in the fifth.

Shepherd added another shutout to the books with their 13-0 win against Millersville University on St. Patrick’s Day. The bats were hot in the Rams dugout when they traveled to Millersville. Shepherd had a combined 18 hits on the day. Tara Hanson pitch a complete-game victory. Munda went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Molly Staley went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored, while Gilligan went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Courtney Clemons added a 2-for-4 effort with three RBIs and three runs scored.

Unfortunately, the Rams’ win streak was shut down when Millersville came back in game two fo the double header and handed Shepherd a 4-6 defeat. Rams scored two runs early, but the Marauders had seen this before. Millersville battled back scoring two in the third. Rams tried to add to their lead but Millersville shut it down quick, holding a 5-3 lead going into the fifth inning. The Rams fought back scoring one in the fifth to bring them to a one run deficit. They couldn’t pull themselves out of the hole and the Marauders put the icing on the cake with another run in the sixth.

The Rams were back in Shepherdstown playing in front of a home crowd once again, when they hosted Urbana University on Saturday, March 19th. Shepherd handed the Blue Knights a 16-hit attack to gain a 22-1 win. Rams scored five in the first, three in the third, and 14 in the fourth inning.

A two-run double by Gilligan and a two-run single by Sarah North highlighted the rally. Paige Buckworth went 3-for-3 with six RBIs and a pair of runs scored to lead the Rams. Gilligan added a 2-for-2 effort with three RBIs and four runs scored, while Ariana Ramirez posted a 2-for-2 performance, drove in two runs, and scored twice.

Alexandra Witt, Staley and Clemons each added a pair of hits. The Blue Knights were put out of their misery after the fifth inning due to the run-rule.  Urbana didn’t have a chance to battle back due to inclement weather cancelling the second game of the double header.

The Rams capped off their Spring Break when they swept Notre Dame College on Sunday, March 20th in front of a home crowd. Rams took the first game 2-1. Clemons scored in the first inning after she doubled, was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a passed ball. The Falcons came to life when they scored one in the seventh in hopes of taking the game to extra innings. The Rams shut their chances down in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI from Megan Cox.

The Rams took the second game 5-2. The Falcons scored two in the second inning. Konopka shut down their rally with a 3-RBI homer to right field in the third inning. The Rams sealed the win with two runs in the fifth.

The Rams look to increase their three-game win streak on Friday, March 25th when they travel to Wheeling Jesuit University for a 12 p.m. contest.

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