Two out of three ain’t bad: Lady Rattlers win

Florida A&M’s softball complex was full of activity Sunday as the Lady Rattlers squared off against the Lady Rams of Winston-Salem State. After playing the team Saturday in a doubleheader, losing the first game and winning the second, the Lady Rattlers were victorious in Sunday’s series finale with a score of six to one.

The FAMU softball team was all smiles as it left the field to the cheers and applause of a supportive crowd. The team seems to agree that its win was greatly esteemed.

Nikki Terryn, 22, an infielder, said the win was valued.

“It was well needed and well deserved,” said Terryn, a junior criminal justice student from Panama City.

Whether it was the possibility of garnering a MEAC championship or the fact that they simply wanted to win, the Lady Rattlers immediately took charge of the game. The first inning was rather humdrum as neither FAMU nor Winston-Salem scored a run. However, things took a change for the better during the bottom of the second inning when Lady Rattler Melissa Oliphant, a sophomore infielder, secured a run, bringing the score to one for FAMU.

As an enthusiastic coach Veronica Wiggins stood on the sideline rooting for her players, the Lady Rattlers prevented the Lady Rams from scoring any runs during the top of the third inning. Both Kendall Sutton and Lonnie Jones, two Winston-Salem players, failed to make it to first base thanks to the quick teamwork of the Lady Rattlers.

At the bottom of the third inning, Lady Rattlers Rhianna Green and Krista Richardson secured two runs for FAMU and brought the score to 3-1. Cheers from the dugout could be heard distinctly as the Lady Rattlers continued to prevent their opponents from garnering any runs.

After two monotonous innings, the Lady Rams finally picked up a run during the top of the sixth. However, FAMU scored another run as well during the bottom of the sixth and upped the ante by securing two more before the inning was over.

The game was pretty much over then and soon after, the Lady Rattlers sent the Lady Rams home packing. The amount of energy that FAMU had over Winston-Salem was very evident throughout the game, and the Lady Rattlers said it gave them the upper hand.

Alesha Wells, a junior outfielder, said the energy was just what FAMU needed.

“We definitely had more energy than them,” said Wells, 20, a health and physical education student from Las Vegas. “We want to win a MEAC. That’s what we play for when we play the MEAC teams. We wanted to beat up on them and win.”

Wiggins said the win feels fantastic and expects more in her team’s future.

“It was great,” said Wiggins, who has been coaching the team more than 12 seasons. “It’s a conference game and we’ve been trying to get as close as possible to having a good stand in the conference. In the beginning we had a slow start, but now we have been holding our own.”

Coming up on the team’s schedule are matches against Norfolk State, Georgia Southern and North Carolina A&T. Terryn is optimistic about more wins in the team’s future.

“We just have to keep on hitting from the first inning to the last,” she said.

The Lady Rattlers will take on the softball players of Florida State University on Wednesday away at 6 p.m.