(THE PICKET) — The Shepherd University Softball team traveled to Greenville, Tennessee, to participate in the Pioneer Classic tournament on Saturday and Sunday. These four games were the first of the 2016 season. The Rams split this weekend with two wins and two losses, for a two-and-two record overall.
Shepherd’s first game of the tournament was against Kutztown University mid-day Saturday. Shepherd took a 1-to-nothing lead in the second inning when Courtney Clemons was walked with bases loaded, which scored Kaitlyn Munda. Kutztown tied the game in the sixth inning. Shepherd came back in the bottom of the sixth when Munda doubled to score Alexandra Witt, giving the Rams a two to one lead.
Munda went three for three to lead the Rams and Tara Hanson pitched a complete-game victory. This gave interim head coach Danielle Easton her first career victory.
Shepherd took on Ursuline College for their second game on Saturday. Shepherd and Ursuline both scored one run in the first inning, and again in the fifth to have a 2-to-2 tie ball game going into the top of the sixth. Shepherd broke open that tie when catcher Molly Staley had an RBI-single and first baseman Connor Gilligan added a two-run double. The Rams sealed the win with another run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Tamera Confer. Munda pitched a complete-game victory.
Unfortunately, Sunday wasn’t as great of a day for the Rams. Shepherd faced Kutztown for a second time in the tournament, and the Golden Bears were out for redemption. The Rams lost in a 0-to-8 shutout. Shepherd had 14 total pop-outs with only five hits. Pitcher Kristen Barstad took the loss for the Rams.
The Rams then played Tusculum College for their last game of the tournament. Gilligan signed home Sarah North in the fourth inning for a 1-0 lead. The Pioneers tied the game in the top of the sixth with an RBI-single by Emily Hester. Rams brought the pressure and carried the game into an extra eighth inning. Hester doubled to score Harper Ford for the Pioneers with the game-winner. The Rams came up short with a two to one loss to end the Pioneer Classic. Pitcher Tara Hanson took the loss for the Rams.
Rams softball home opener will be on Wednesday, March 2 at 2 p.m. when they host East Stroudsburg University.