WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (16-14) saw a late rally fall short when the team took a hard-fought 7-6 loss to the UNC Pembroke Braves (15-19-1), Friday afternoon. After playing to a 6-6 tie after seven innings, the Rams weren't able to match an eighth-inning run by the Braves and ended the game with the tough loss.
The Rams took the loss in spite of a great offensive effort with the Rams showing some great offensive power in the game, but the team could not quite match the Braves. The Rams finished the game with 10 total hits, including two home runs. Sophomore third base Rebecca Demko led the way with a four-for-four performance with a home run, a run scored and three RBI. Junior centerfielder Idaysha Quinones added a two-for-two effort with a walk and an RBI. Freshman designated player Taonya Stanley added a one-for-three performance with a home run, a run scored and an RBI.
Things got tough early for the Rams, but the team answered nearly every challenge by the Braves. After allowing an opening inning run on a throwing error, the Rams tied the game in the second inning when Quinones hit an RBI single that scored sophomore outfielder Anna Marino. The Rams took a 3-1 lead in the third inning when Demko hit a two-RBI single that scored Stanely and junior second base Chyna Riley. UNCP would tie the game in the fourth inning with a pair of RBI singles, but the WSSU tandem of Demko and Stanely once again stepped up with back-to-back solo home runs to straight away centerfield that put the Rams back on top, 5-3 in the fifth inning. The Rams added another run in the sixth inning when freshman Destiny Snipes hit an RBI single that scored junior right fielder Katherine Zimmer that kept the Rams on top, 6-3. The play was a costly one, however, as Zimmer was injured on the play. The Braves would then strike with three seventh-inning scores including hitting a two-run home run that tied the game, 6-6 and sent the game into extra innings. The Braves would score one run in the eighth inning while the Rams could not with a line out to the pitcher ending the game and sealing the WSSU loss.
WSSU junior pitcher Mercedes Hargett (10-9) took the pitching loss, going all eight innings with seven runs allowed (four earned) on nine hits with just two walks. She finished the game with six strikeouts.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 16-14 on the season. The two teams would go on to complete the doubleheader 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.