RALEIGH, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (29-21) played some stellar defense in an 11-0 win over the Bowie State Lady Bulldogs (15-21) to advance to the championship game of the 2016 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Softball Championship Tournament. WSSU junior Mercedes Hargett pitched the Rams to the win after nearly pitching a perfect game to take the victory.
Friday's game saw a career-best pitching effort by Hargett (19-10) allowed just one walk and had just one hit batter in the victory. For the game, she allowed no runs and no hits in the victory. Hargett shouldn't get all the credit as she recorded just three strikeouts in the game while the Rams committed no fielding errors in the game.
Offensively, the Rams had a great day as well. The team totaled 11 runs in the game on 12 hits. Sophomore third base Samantha Gibbs led the way for the Rams with a three-for-three batting effort in the game with a run scored. Junior outfielder Chyna Riley added a two-for-four batting effort with a run scored and three RBI. Freshman Tiarra Delaney added a one-for-three batting effort with a run scored and two RBI as well.
The Rams began their scoring in the second inning and never looked back. Freshman outfielder Destiny Snipes got things started when she scored on a Bowie State fielding error. Junior outfielder Idaysha Quinones added an RBI groundout that scored junior short stop Rebecca Demko. Riley rounded out the scoring effort with an RBI single that scored Gibbs and gave the Rams a 3-0 lead.
It was in the third inning that Rams broke out and took full control of the game when the team scored seven runs. Quinones started things with an RBI single that scored Hargett and Delaney followed suit with a two-RBI single. Riley would go to add a two-RBI single that scored sophomore outfielder Anna Marino and Delaney. Junior first base Katherine Zimmer added an RBI single that scored Riley and Hargett helped her own cause when she hit an RBI double that left the Rams on top 10-0 after the third inning.
The Rams added the final score of the game in the fourth inning when sophomore catcher Melissa Carillo hit an RBI single to score Delaney once again and capped the Rams' 11-0 win. With the win, the Rams improve to 29-21 and make their first return to the championship game since the 2014 season.
The Rams will take on the Chowan Hawks in the championship game. As the team from the winner's bracket, the Rams will only need to win once to claim the conference championship. The Rams and the Hawks will square in a 12:00 p.m. game at the Walnut Creek Softball Complex in Raleigh, N.C. Admission to the game is free.
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.