Determination and good defense helped the Lady Rattler’s softball team defeat Florida International University (17-21) in both games of a doubleheader, each ending in extra innings, on Friday at the Lady Rattler’s Complex.
In the first game of the doubleheader FAMU got off to a slow start by walking the games lead off hitter, hitting another batter and throwing a wild pitch. By the time the Rattler’s managed to record FIU’s third out of the inning, they found them selves down 1-0 without allowing a single hit.
In the bottom of the first-inning Lady Panthers Kendra Laminack retired the first three batters she faced.
The second inning began as if the Panthers were going to run away with the game. But threw the next few innings, the Rattlers showed that there was a game to be played.
“When things happen that we feel [aren’t] suppose to … this team doesn’t panic, they stick together,” said Head Coach Veronica Wiggins. “And that says a lot about their character.”
In the sixth inning, with the Rattler’s down 3-2, junior left fielder Ashley Mitchell made a spectacular catch over her left shoulder to hold the Panthers base runners at bay.
“I don’t think that the catch solely helped us win the game, but our team defense as a whole helped us be victorious,” said Ashley Mitchell, 20, a junior political science student from Titusville, Fla.
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Rattler’s Eria Williams singled to bring in a run and tied the game at 3-3. Neither team scored in the next three innings, sending the game in to overtime.
In the bottom of the tenth with the score tied 5-5, the Rattler’s rally culminated when outfielder Eria Williams hit a ground ball to third and Panthers third baseman Jennifer Owens made an errent throw to first base, bringing home the winning run.
In the second game, the Rattlers started much faster. FAMU scored two runs in the first inning and added a third run in the second inning to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
Throughout the second game the lead changed hands several times, with FAMU eventually taking a 6-4 advantage.
With the game seemingly in the bag for the Rattler’s, FIU managed to score on a couple of Rattler miscues tying the game at six.
Once again, neither team could score in the final inning, forcing an extra period. With a runner on third, another wild pitch by FIU’s Amanda Nealer scored the winning run for FAMU.
“I think they wanted it more today and they are very aggressive and hard working bunch and that is impressive,” said FIU’s Head Coach Kim Gwydir.
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