SALEM, VA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (12-24) opened the 2018 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Softball Championship Tournament in a dramatic fashion when the team took a 5-3 win over the Virginia Union Panthers (15-10). Entering the tournament as the third-seeded team from the CIAA Southern Division, the Rams secured an upset win over the Panthers, the second-seeded team from the CIAA Northern Division.
The Rams took the win behind an efficient offensive performance in the game. As a team, the Rams needed just six hits to score five runs and to claim the win. WSSU junior centerfielder Destiny Snipes led the Rams to the win with a two-for-two batting performance with a home run, two runs scored, and an RBI. The team also got doubles from senior designated player Samantha Gibbs and junior outfielder Jasmine Holloman.
Things looked good early for the Rams, but the team soon needed to stage a late rally to pull off the dramatic win. The team struck in the first inning when Holloman hit an RBI double to score senior second base Tiara Delaney. The team added another run when sophomore third base Erica Davis added an RBI groundout to score Holloman. The effort left the Rams on top, 2-0. The WSSU lead wouldn't last long with Virginia Union scoring three third-inning runs that left the Rams trailing 5-2. It was in the fifth inning that Snipes tied the game once again when she hit a solo home run and set the stage for the dramatic seventh inning. Freshman pitcher Tia Robinson got the game-winning hit when she hit an RBI single to score Snipes and Gibbs. The effort left the Rams on top 5-3 before the WSSU defense closed out the win by holding the Panthers scoreless in the bottom of the inning.
Robinson (4-11) took the pitching win. She started the game and pitched all seven innings of the game. She finished the game with three runs scored (two earned) with eight strikeouts and three walks.
With the win, the Rams improve to 12-24 overall and advanced in the winner's bracket of the tournament. The Rams would go on to face the Bowie State Bulldogs, the fourth-seeded team from the CIAA Northern Division later in the day.
For more information on Rams softball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.