CALIFORNIA, PA – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (28-11) will make their third trip to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament for the third time in the past four seasons when they take on the #12 California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans (35-5) in the opening game of the tournament, Friday afternoon. The Lady Rams will enter the tournament as the eighth seed and will take on the top-seeded Vulcans. The two teams are set for a 11:00 a.m. first pitch at Lilley Field on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania.
Friday's game will feature a match-up between two surging teams as the Lady Rams have won 20 of their last 22 games, including a seven-game winning streak to finish the season. The Lady Rams earned the post-season bid by sweeping the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Softball Championship Tournament with a 4-0 record and claiming their third CIAA title in four years.
The Lady Rams will enter the post-season tournament with one of the best defensive infields in the nation with the trio of junior third base Katrina Bartlett, junior Monet Daly, and freshman Allison Woodbury leading the way. Bartlett and Daly both earned first team All-CIAA honors while Woodbury was named to the CIAA All-Rookie team. Woodbury led the team with 260 putouts along with just seven fielding errors while Bartlett added 40 putouts with a team-high 83 assists and only six fielding errors. Daly finished the year as the MVP of the 2014 CIAA Tournament and earned All-Tournament team honors as well. In addition to her defensive presence on the infield, Daly has also notched a pair of pitching victories.
Offensively, the Lady Rams will turn to the trio for their punch as well. Bartlett finished the season with a .406 batting average and led the CIAA with 10 home runs. She also finished the season with a team-high 32 RBI. Daly edged Bartlett for the team with a .408 batting average. She also led the team in with seven doubles and four triples. Also contributing for the Lady Rams is junior outfielder Kiah Ruffin, who has a .359 batting average and has five doubles and a pair of triples.
The WSSU pitching effort has been strong all season long with freshman Mercedes Hargett leading the way. In just her first season with the Lady Rams, she placed second in the CIAA in total wins with a 14-6 pitching record. She also finished second in the conference with a 2.18 earned run average (ERA) and strikeouts (117). For her efforts, she was named to the CIAA All-Rookie team as well as the CIAA All-Tournament team.
The Lady Rams will have their hands full when they take on the top-seeded Vulcans who will enter the tournament with a 35-5 record and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship. The team will also have momentum on their side after winning 30 of their last 31 games. As a team, the Vulcans are batting .340 with senior catcher Natalie Wideman leading the team with a .458 batting average. The Vulcans will also feature the pitching duo of sophomore Alex Sagle who is 23-3 with a 1.40 ERA and freshman Katy Davis, who is 12-2 with a 2.32 ERA.
The two teams are currently scheduled for an 11:00 a.m. first pitch on Lilley Field. There will be a live statistical feed from the game available at www.WSSURams.com. For more information on Lady Rams softball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.